Strategic Planning Issues – Part 2

East West Rail Consultation on Routes Through North Bedfordshire Ends 9th June Have your Say

Date Published: 20/05/2021

The Parish Council wrote to all residents regarding Strategic Planning Issues in January
East West Rail is now consulting on the section of the train line from Oxford to Cambridge which affects Bedford and the North Bedfordshire villages. There are five route options which are shown on the map below.

East - West rail proposed routes

All of the options will necessitate:

  • Moving Bedford Midland Mainline Station
  • Moving St. John’s Station
  • Demolishing houses in the Poets Area of Bedford, off Shakespeare Road
  • Altering Ford End Road and Bromham Road bridges again
  • Raising the Great Ouse Way so the line can pass underneath it
  • Building a single viaduct over the River Great Ouse, A6 and Clapham Road

Oakley Parish Council is very concerned about the impact on residents in Bedford and the
North Bedfordshire villages, in particular:

  • The environmental damage to the countryside and Great Ouse Valley
  • The long term noise impact, especially from freight trains which could run day and night
  • The visual impact of a massive viaduct approximately 15m high – more than three double decker buses
  • Large New Towns proposed in countryside around Twinwoods/Clapham/Milton Ernest/Bletsoe and Sharnbrook/Colworth as justification for the choice of route
  • Disruption over prolonged period during construction affecting major routes into and around Bedford

The Council supports better rail connections between Oxford and Cambridge but prefers a route to the south of Bedford. A southern route, based on a Parkway Station at Wixams - Route B and not considered in this consultation by East West Rail, would be shorter, flatter and straighter and pass through an area that is already developed for commercial activity. A southern route would also reduce the impact on unspoilt countryside, use fewer materials to construct, be a lower cost option and would also avoid bringing yet more traffic into the highly congested areas leading into and around Bedford station.

The full Parish Council response is on our website – and notice boards. There is also information on the BFARE website – and the CPRE Bedfordshire website –

The consultation ends on 9th June and we urge you to submit a response to East West Rail. The Parish Council will be pressing East West Rail to reconsider the southern route B.

The full consultation document, more detailed information (including interactive maps) and a response form are on the East West Rail

If you do not want to use the online form you can respond: by writing to FREEPOST, EAST WEST RAIL by email to consultation(at) or by phone on 0330 1340067