Mayor Dave Hodgson has told Bedford Independent that the build for the proposed railway station at Wixams could start as early as 2019, if proposals to bridge the funding gap are approved at a council meeting next week.
Bedford’s mayor announced earlier this week that he has created a plan to borrow the £14 million still needed to fund the project. The loan would then be paid back using a proportion of the ticket charges from commuters using the station. In a statement on his Facebook page yesterday, Mr Hodgson said: This is a crucial facility for Wixams and we cannot let this station just be lost to the community. We will make sure residents get the station they were promised.”
Asking the Mayor if this was an early election pledge, he told us, in the video below, that he believes this plan goes beyond his role of mayor, and if the project and plan is approved, it will still be built even if he doesn’t survive the 2019 elections.
Network Rail and the Department for Transport are being included in ongoing discussion with the council and Thameslink, who will service the station and provide services to and from London. £12.4 million towards to project came from the developers behind Wixams. With the funding gap supplied by Bedford Borough Council, the final bill is likely to be £27.4 million.
The proposal to include the project in the Council’s Capital Programme will be considered by a meeting of the Mayor’s Executive on September 19th.