Liberal Democrats call for Mayor to publish EWR routes that could impact Shortstown, Elstow and Priory Country Park

24 Jan 2024
Intercity train at Bedford Station

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have called on the Mayor to publish the alternate East West Rail routes he is considering. The Mayor has opposed the northern route, supported by many residents, businesses, organisations and the Council itself, and is considering other routes that could impact homes south of Bedford. The Liberal Democrats are calling for transparency so that residents in Shortstown, Elstow and Willington can understand the impact the southern routes could have.

At a meeting of Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Councillor Charles Royden asked “I’ve seen a map that shows the other routes that the Mayor is now exploring for EWR, many of which go south. Can I ask if that map is now out for public consultation?

“If the Mayor is considering these routes, it is very important that he is transparent and open with the public. Some of these routes go close to Shortstown, to Elstow and I think one of the routes goes close to Priory Country Park. Our residents deserve to know what is being considered and that map should be in the public domain.”

Council officers said there was no public consultation happening at the moment but the Mayor has asked them to undertake analysis on several routes including southern route options.

After the meeting, Councillor Royden said “There is no reason the Mayor cannot publish the map of the routes he is considering. Residents in these areas need to know if their homes could be impacted if the Mayor chooses to support one of the southern routes. The Mayor said he would be transparent when it comes to EWR but his actions say otherwise and this appears to be yet another empty election promise.”

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