Monday, 18 December 2017


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Here is a quick diagram to show what I would prefer for East-West Rail and inclusion of a Northampton-Bedford link. Wixams is too far out. The blockages just as bad as the old route plus further distance/cost to build. To bypass Bedford Town Centre would be such a missed opportunity - biggest in half a century - that ERTA and I will be doing all we can to secure a rethink for the benefit of ordinary people of Bedford. 

In sum our concerns are:

1. NIC Report page 97 shows East-West Rail Link/EWRL bypassing Bedford.
2. Bedford is a main generator of footfall for local Marston Vale services, truncating at Wixams would be detrimental and there's nil capacity on the Midland Main line south of Bedford Midland Station.
3. There's no physical rail linkage with the East Coast Main Line curtailing the potential Stevenage/Peterborough-Bedford and Cambridge local service diversity = detrimental to fullest potential reach and range.
4. No provision currently for east-north freights from Felixstowe-West Midlands traversing Cambridge-Bedford-Midland Main Line North and vice versa. This would, if provided free up many more paths into, across and out of London - chance in a lifetime for more potential trains passenger and freight, cutting congestion in a context of growth.
5. The Bletchley-Bedford - Northampton triangle would again free up paths through MK Central, so we must not scupper chances by allowing piecemeal development at Olney - the town would be more prosperous if it is rail served, than car dependent for everything x a 10 mile drive in any direction.
6. Most of the trackbed to west of Willington is distinguishable, and both the Sustrans route and A421 Southern Bypass Side Roads Order 199 were done on the basis that should the railway be pursued for reopening favourable consideration on amendment of said cycle route and raising the bypass akin to a Girtford Bridge to allow a railway underpass would be considered. Now the railway is being pursued, now is the time to state clearly the old route is best value for money by far, serves Bedford and keeps main lines clear of clutter = a win, win.
7. We must have a joined up and inclusive railway. The silence of elected leadership is deafening with their London centric obsessions and grand standing knowing Bedford risks being sidelined.
More is on our Blogspot which people are welcomed to peruse at their leisure: I invite the Mayor and his subjugates to work with ERTA and myself to forge the best possible deal for Bedford and surrounding areas. 

Seasons Greetings.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Pill

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