Bedford Borough Council is launching a public engagement on its plans for a new railway station at Wixams from Monday 27 June.
This public engagement will take place before the Council submits its planning applications for the site, and it is an opportunity for local residents and interested parties to have their say.
Wixams Station has always been an important part of the plans for Wixams. The outline planning application for Wixams new town (granted in 2003 and amended in 2012) included provision for a 'Station Quarter'.
A separate planning application was approved for a railway station in 2012. However, the permission was not implemented and subsequently lapsed. When Network Rail were unable to deliver the station in partnership with the developer, Bedford Borough Council took on the role as project sponsor.
The Station will be located in the 'Station Quarter' on the western boundary of the Wixams, and on the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Flitwick stations. It will be served by up to four Thameslink trains per hour in each direction.
Plans for the station include: two platforms, a station building with toilets, a waiting room and coffee shop, parking for up to 350 vehicles with provision for electric vehicle charging and blue badge users, secure cycle parking, provision for taxis and bus stops, and more.
Two planning applications will be submitted. A 'reserved matters' application to provide more details about the proposal and a full planning application related to the land required for the construction of the platforms and works to the line.
The Council is undertaking this public engagement on its plans whilst they are at a formative stage and before these applications are submitted. This is a non-statutory engagement and in due course the plans will be subject to the usual statutory planning applications process, including consultation.
There will be two drop-in events for local residents, businesses and interested parties to find out more and ask questions. These will be at Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Wixams, MK42 6EA on 27 June 2022 10am to 3pm and 28 June 2022 2pm to 6.45pm.
There will also be information about the plans for Wixams Station, including a frequently asked questions at www.bedford.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/strategies-and-projects/wixams-station/.
From Monday 27 June, the Council are inviting people to provide their comments on the plans via the Response Form at www.bedford.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/strategies-and-projects/wixams-station/; alternatively you will be able to provide feedback by email to WixamsStation@bedford.gov.uk, or by post to Wixams Station, Major Projects, Borough Hall, Cauldwell St, Bedford, MK42 9AP.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said, "The residents of Wixams have been promised a railway station for a long time, and I am pleased that we have been able to step in, fill the funding gap, and help to get this station back on track. This is a significant investment in the Borough's transport provision, and creates more opportunity for sustainable travel here in Bedford Borough. Please do take a look at the plans, come along to one of the drop ins if you can, and let us know what you think."
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