East-West Rail Link To Re-Open

29 November 2011, 17:10 | Updated: 29 November 2011, 18:06

George Osborne announced a number of new infrastructure projects in his autumn statement. One of these was the re-opening of the East-West rail link

The line, which used to run between Oxford and Cambridge, was closed in 1967. 

Although it is not possible to re-open the part of the line that connects to Cambridge, Milton Keynes MP Iain Stewart has been campaigning for years to re-open the part of the route between Bicester and Bletchley making it possible to travel between Oxford and Bedford on one line.  

The Chancellor announced this would now go ahead.

Iain Stewart wasn't expecting to hear this news until next year, he says lots of people will benefit:

"This will join up places like Reading, Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes and Bedford in its first stage. The expectation is that this will help generate some 12,000 jobs so I think it is good news all round"

Another infrastructure project Osborne announced was that the widening of the A14 in Kettering would go ahead. Iain Stewart says that both these projects are important to improving the connections between the East and the West:

"Most of the motorway network and most of the railway network runs North to South but there is a lot of passengers and traffic that have to move from East to West so both the A14 and the East-West rail link, I think, will be hugely important parts of that jigsaw"

Ian Stewart thinks passengers will be able to use the line between Oxford and Bedford by the end of this parliament.