Bring HS2 route closer to Milton Keynes, says council

Sep 25, 2011


That is the message to ministers from Milton Keynes Council, which has called for a station to be built closer to Milton Keynes.
In its response to the government’s consultation – discussed by councillors earlier this month – it has backed the controversial HS2 plan for a high-speed link between London, Birmingham and the North as long as the route has realistic potential to enhance local and regional economic performance.
Milton Keynes would also be at the heart of the planned East-West Rail Link between Oxford and Cambridge if government gives it the go-ahead. East-west connections are vital to ensure that strong links are made between Cambridge, Bedford, Aylesbury and Oxford, and with the West Coast Main Line.

The council argues that, because of its location,  Milton Keynes is a significant rail hub and part of the city’s success as a regional centre is based on having strong and effective transport links to the rest of the country as well as within the South East Midlands Local Economic Partnership area.

Cllr John Bint, cabinet member responsible for transport, said: “East West Rail is a strategic infrastructure project that is expected to bring transport, economic and environmental benefits across a wide area, in particular, provide faster journeys between towns and cities to the north and west of London.

“Were there to be intermediate stops on HS2 closer to its junction with EWR, that could reinforce the benefits of both schemes.”

The council would support infrastructure improvements in the area to ensure such a route/hub would be accessible to its surrounding area, including Bedford, Luton, Aylesbury, Bedford, Northampton, and Oxford.

Cllr Bint said: “We believe that, to achieve this potential, further consideration should be given to providing an intermediate station close to Milton Keynes and that in providing this facility the route alignment should be reconsidered to maximise economic benefits.

“Milton Keynes Council takes the view that such a station should not necessarily be seen as an intermediate stop between London and Birmingham but as part of a national/European network of HS links.“

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