East West Rail Moves Forward

13 December 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 13 December 2011, 06:26

Businesses and Councillors are meeting to talk about what will happen next with the train line from Oxford to Bedford.

Two weeks after the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, when he announced £270million would be invested in reopening the East-West rail line, members of the Consortium are meeting today to talk about what happens next.

It's made up of people like councillors and businesses owners along the route.

The railway would carry passengers from Reading to Bedford via Oxford and Milton Keynes and from Milton Keynes into London Marylebone via Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

Hugh Jaeger, from Railfuture, told Heart it'll bring huge benefits:

"It would transform travel not only between Oxford and Cambridge but also Bicester Village for which road access is atrocious."

A trip from Oxford to Milton Keynes would be 35 minutes on the train as opposed to 60-90 minutes by car, while Oxford to Bedford would be 65 instead of 90-120 minutes.

Neil Gibson chairs the East-West Rail Consortium. He told Heart how it could change areas along the route:

"I think the real benefits here are connectivity and economic.

"So we're seeing this as a real benefit for house builders in terms of where they chose to build their houses, for companies in terms of job creation and new companies who want to move into the area."

It's estimated 12,000 jobs could be created along the route and 70,000 new homes could be built.

It's hoped the route will then be extended further from Bedford through to Ipswich and the East of the country.