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Liberal Democrats fight for residents at EWR meeting

June 29, 2022 2:20 PM
Originally published by Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats

East West Rail logoLiberal Democrats fight for residents at EWR meeting

This week Mayor Dave Hodgson and Rail Portfolio Holder Councillor Michael Headley met with the government's East West Rail Company representatives and expressed their outrage at the way residents in Bedford Borough have been treated. They also reaffirmed their strong opposition to six tracks north of Bedford and argued the merits of electrification from day one.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said "It is unacceptable how residents across the Borough, especially in the directly affected areas, have been treated. The repeated delays and inconsistent communications must end. Our residents deserve better."

Councillor Michael Headley said "Six tracks is entirely unnecessary. We have shown how the existing four tracks north of Bedford Station can function for this project. Most importantly, keeping four tracks protects residents' homes in the Poets' area.

"The railway will provide huge environmental benefits, by replacing thousands of road journeys with a much more sustainable mode of transport. To maximise these benefits, it is essential that the railway is electrified from day one. Other options would cause disruptions in the future and wouldn't fit with the government's carbon neutral strategy. We have and will continue to lobby the EWR Company for this."

The government and their East West Rail Company have yet to make decisions on the number of tracks to the north of Bedford following last year's consultation or whether the line will be electrified from day one. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for residents to ensure our community receives the maximum benefits from the new railway line. Mayor Dave and Councillor Headley are also meeting East Midlands Railway later this week to discuss connectivity to The North, fast line platforms and the refurbishment of the second hand electric trains on the Corby to London line.