Bedford Borough Council has published records of a meeting held between the mayor and East-West Rail (EWR) on 19 May 2023, where they discussed the ongoing development of the rail project.
EWR emphasised that the final decisions on the new railway rest with governmental ministers, due to being an extension of the Department for Transport.
They reaffirmed that their commitment is to Bedford; drawing people to the area, providing reliable transport to residents, creating jobs, expanding communities, and offering an environmentally friendly service to the town.
Track options east of Bedford were discussed and focus was placed on EWR’s preference for a route from Bedford to Cambridge – which would run through the North of the Borough.
Mayor Tom Wootton said: “In that meeting I made my views abundantly clear and continue to reiterate my stance on East West Rail.
“These meetings represent a marked improvement, in which we’re able to go in there and fight for the needs of residents, giving them a voice at the table in a way that they didn’t have previously.
“We will continue to publish a record of these meetings. Our priority is having a constructive dialogue with EWR, in which we can ask the important questions that local people really want to know about the answers to.”
The meeting concluded positively, with both parties respecting each other’s positions.
A pledge was made to further discussions over the technical aspects and alternative route details.
If you would like to view the record of the meeting, you can do so at the council’s website.