In her letter of 15 August the CEO of East West Rail keenly highlighted the attendance at public drop-in events which is strange as it merely reflects the number of local residents who are unhappy about the project.
Everyone I spoke to at the event I attended was concerned about the route or overall project and none I asked came away more comfortable than when they entered.
I did approach staff members from the business case team because I understand that EWR don’t have one yet and apparently the intention is [to] present it just before the work starts, which shows the whole project as ‘a solution looking for a problem’
One query I raised is what the plan is regarding parking at Bedford station which current plans show as needing to be reduced.
There would need to be a substantial development parking to reflect additional users living out of town but I was told that they can’t even look at a catchment area further than 2km from the station due to official policy.
Hard to explain this and also why the business case team could not even identify any kind of potential passenger numbers or have any idea what individual train capacities might be.
Your correspondent has identified that EWR isn’t interested in anyone’s views other than their own – obviously, their priority has to be to protect their jobs whereas that of the locals is to protect our homes and living environment with a sword dangling over our heads for the immediate future.
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