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VIDEO: Rail project to link Wycombe with Milton Keynes
CONSTRUCTION plans have been announced for new rail links which will provide direct trains between High Wycombe and Milton Keynes.
Network Rail says the western section of the East West Rail link – between Bedford and Oxford – should be completed by 2017. See video below
The project includes the use of a freight-only line north of Aylesbury, meaning hourly passenger trains can run from south Bucks to Milton Keynes – the “fastest growing city in England”.
The journey from High Wycombe to Milton Keynes is expected to take 63 minutes, calling at Princes Risborough, Monks Risborough, Little Kimble, Aylesbury Vale Parkway, a new station at Winslow, and Bletchley.
The East West Rail Consortium [EWRC], which has promoted the route, says this will give Bucks residents access to further “employment, shopping and leisure opportunities”, as well as West Coast Mainline trains.
The scheme, which is expected to create 12,000 jobs, was confirmed last year after the Government said funding of £270 million would be made available.
Bucks county councillor Peter Hardy, who is also chairman of the Joint Delivery Board for the Western Section for East West Rail, said: “This is really good news for the region.
“The economic, environmental and social benefits of the East West Rail link to the areas it serves in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire and beyond should not be underestimated...
“It will also support the creation of some 12,000 jobs and boost annual regional gross domestic product by £38million.”
The main section of the route from Oxford to Bedford will go through Bicester Town, before using current freight lines and routes which have been out of use through Claydon and Bletchley.
This section is also proposed for electrification.
Meanwhile, EWRC said it retains a “firm aim” to re-introduce a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge and work will soon begin to re-assess the benefits.
A separate project approved in October means High Wycombe is also set to benefit from a new rail link to Oxford from 2015.
See related links for more on this and the East West Rail link.