The long-awaited train station for Wixams is still on track to be completed by 2024, with a preferred design of the building being chosen.
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to progress to this next stage.,” said Portfolio Holder for Rail Cllr Michael Headley (Liberal Democrats, Putnoe)
“This design had the best support from the railway stakeholders and will provide a great passenger experience for local residents. This keeps us on track to deliver a station in Wixams in 2024.”
The delivery of Wixams station has been a contentious issue with residents promised a local connection to the rail network by 2013.
Ward councillor and leader of Bedford Borough’s Conservative group, Greame Coombes says the design choice is good news and hopes the planning stages will follow soon.
“I’m delighted that progress continues to be made with regard to Wixams Station,” he said.
“The journey to date has been long and tortuous, with seemingly endless delays. Residents moving into Wixams as long ago as 2009 were promised a station by 2013 and here we are at the start of 2022 still waiting.
“As Councillor for Wixams I have continually pushed for the station’s development since first being elected back in 2011 and, despite many setbacks, I have never given up hope that the station would be built.
“I am now keen to see a planning application submitted in the near future, and am looking forward to buying my train ticket from Wixams Station in 2024!”
A spokesperson for Bedford Borough’s Liberal Democrats says a railway station with regular services “has the potential to reduce vehicle trips on the A6 which in itself has the potential to reduce local congestion, improve air pollution and provide opportunities for active travel”.
They add this helps support Bedford Borough Council’s sustainability strategy.
The four-track preferred design of the station, which has two platforms, scored well in construction safety risk and programme delay risk, as well as passenger management and experience.
Stakeholders say this layout of the station is likely to be safer and quicker to construct and will offer a safer and higher quality service to passengers when operational.
Adding his thoughts on the station, Bedford’s Mayor Dave Hodgson added, “this is fantastic news for residents in Wixams and across the Borough.
“We stepped in to spearhead the development of this station when previous plans for this long-promised station had fallen through.
“The new station will improve the rail infrastructure so that commuters don’t have to travel into Bedford or Flitwick, easing the congestion on our roads.
“Investing in rail is a huge part of our sustainable transport strategy and I am very excited for the opening of the new station in 2024.”