Thank you Elsa for getting Bourne End railway line back on track

ONGRATULATIONS to Dr Elsa Woodward, of the High Wycombe Society, for her 14-year campaign to reopen the High Wycombe to Bourne End Railway line! Chris Wallis should be remembered too, for his initial engineering survey which made the High Wycombe Society’s Transport Group know that such a line was a true possibility.

Cllr Valerie Letheren’s announcement that Bucks County Council has now agreed that the line should be reinstated, and that they would support an application from a company to do so, is to be welcomed.

When in 1996 I was chairman of the then policy and resources committee on Wycombe District Council, I did battle royal with officers to prevent building on the line through the Spring Gardens area. “What would you use the line for?” I was asked. “People might want it reopened in 20 years’ time”, was my reply. Eventually, a plan by the county council for a busway from the London Road to High Wycombe Station was proposed but then discarded.

A working rail link from High Wycombe to Bourne End is the only way to cut traffic along our London Road. It could a strategic line that, with light rail, would not only link High Wycombe with Bourne End and Maidenhead, Heathrow and all the Thames Valley, but also if carried on northwards, link us speedily with Stoke Mandeville Hospital (avoiding further congestion on the A4010), Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

Light rail has proved to be capable of convincing drivers to make a modal shift from their cars. Such a line would make a real cut in CO2 emissions.

Dr Woodward has researched much and convinced many. Her tenacity has been amazing. Thank you, Elsa.

Frances Alexander

Chestnut Avenue, High Wycombe

Comments (1)

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1:14pm Sun 5 Oct 08

Geoff Gill says...

I used to live near the line from 1950-1960 and could never understand why an alternative route to London was closed especially as at the time it was mooted that closure of London Marylebone was on the cards with all trains being diverted to London Paddington.Thankfull
y Marylebone was saved.However with the large increase in new houses in at least the Loudwater area this line would have been a blessing if it had been retained,just think after the tunnel collapse at Gerrard's Cross a couple of years ago how well this now closed section of line for London Commuters could have been used.
I used to live near the line from 1950-1960 and could never understand why an alternative route to London was closed especially as at the time it was mooted that closure of London Marylebone was on the cards with all trains being diverted to London Paddington.Thankfull y Marylebone was saved.However with the large increase in new houses in at least the Loudwater area this line would have been a blessing if it had been retained,just think after the tunnel collapse at Gerrard's Cross a couple of years ago how well this now closed section of line for London Commuters could have been used. Geoff Gill
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