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More Good News for East West Rail as Government Report Backs Bedford – Cambridge Link

December 23, 2013 6:35 PM

trainMayor Dave Hodgson has welcomed the government's support for the principle of the central section of the East West Rail link, from Bedford to Cambridge. The East West Rail Consortium, which comprises local authorities on the proposed route including Bedford Borough Council, has already commissioned a study into the economic benefits of the extension of the line, which will be operational between Reading and Bedford in 2017 following final approval by government and funding commitments by both government and local authorities this year. Now, the government has confirmed that it is developing proposals for the construction of the line between Bedford and Cambridge, and will be working alongside local authorities on the plans.

The development of the vital central section would place Bedford at the heart of a comprehensive network linking Reading and lines to the west with Cambridge and potentially beyond, to East Anglia and the coast. A new Government paper titled 'Tech Connected' has identified the importance of the link from Bedford to Cambridge, stating that it will complete the 'tech triangle' formed by Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "The benefits for Bedford of the rail link being extended through to Cambridge and beyond will be huge. It will bring new opportunities for employment and leisure, and make Bedford Borough even more attractive to new investors. This statement of Government support for the principle of the central section is further welcome news for East-West rail via Bedford at the end of a very successful year for the project. This has included formal commitment from the Government to have the line open by the end of 2017, with all local authorities on the route committed to supporting the project.'

"Following on from the success to date in promoting the western section, we will continue to lobby and to work alongside others for a completed East West Rail link all the way from Reading through to Cambridge and beyond, with Bedford at its heart."

Information on the Department for Transport's 'Tech Connected' Paper, including the document itself, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tech-connected