Thank you for your ‘open letter’ regarding the East West Railway Company’s consultation [published Monday 12 April] and in particular, the proposals to increase the number of tracks at Bedford Midland Railway station and how that impacts on neighbouring properties in the Poets area.
I can appreciate the distress this proposal has brought, particularly for those with homes on the route north of Bedford Station.
I have not been silent on this matter as you suggest in your letter. As soon as the announcement was made, on 31st March I posted to my website here and sent an email to those signed up to my email list (for those that do not get my emails, you can sign-up at mayordave.org.uk/SignUp).
I also used my monthly column in the Bedford Independent to highlight the Consultation and issues that you outline. This was published on 7 April and you can read it here.
The consultation proposes six tracks coming out of Bedford Midland Station and has placed a number of homes under threat of compulsory purchase and demolition and other homes possibly losing gardens. This is mainly, but not wholly, in the Poets area of Bedford.
In the Council’s previous responses to the East West Rail Company we based our views on a four-track line which would not have put these homes at risk.
We want the East West Rail Company to minimise the impact of this railway on local residents and we will make the case for improving the existing four-track railway rather than adding the additional tracks.
I am meeting with a number of Parish Council’s over the coming weeks to discuss the Council’s response to the consultation and will also be arranging a meeting to discuss these issues with local councillors and residents in the impacted areas in the unparished areas (including the Poets).
Further to these meetings, I will be arranging online public sessions to listen to views regarding the Council’s consultation response as we proceed through the East West Rail Company’s consultation period.
There will also be a special Full Council to discuss the Council’s response to the consultation where all Councillors will be able to have their input.
From today the East West Rail Company will be opening their ‘Virtual Consultation Rooms’ and some geographically based public events.
I would urge you to get involved with these ‘Virtual Consultation Rooms’ and geographic events as well as responding to the East West Rail Company’s Consultation here.
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