The East West Rail Consortium has confirmed an investment of £45 million in the scheme to re- instate the railway between Bedford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Oxford.
Janet Blake of Buckinghamshire County Council says local authorities in the East West Rail Consortium will contribute the money despite financial pressure. In July 2012, the Department for Transport said it would support the scheme to upgrade and re- open sections of the former ‘Varsity Line’ in its 2014 to 2019 five year-spending plan if local leaders came up with a significant financial contribution.
Says Janet Blake, ‘Our investment in East West Rail, when all local authority budgets are under such pressure, demonstrates the importance of this scheme and our confidence in the substantial economic, social and environmental benefits it will bring.’
Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, stressed the importance of East West Rail as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation, as well as reducing road congestion. ‘By joining Oxford, the science parks, Milton Keynes, Bedford and beyond, you’re connecting the nerve centres of the British economy, the places that will keep our economy growing. East West Rail is unlocking this enormous potential and making the whole region more attractive for inward investment from the UK and abroad.’