East West Rail will revitalise Bletchley, says councilJan 03, 2020
Queensway in Bletchley: Investment plans aim to transform the town and Fenny Stratford.
THE OPENING of the East West Rail line linking Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bicester and Oxford can deliver significant opportunity for the town centre renewal of Bletchley, say councillors.
Milton Keynes Council has published a prospectus outlining how the railway line can deliver town centre renewal to Central Bletchley which is economically successful, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
The East-West Rail project will provide Central Bletchley with direct rail links to Oxford and Cambridge alongside its existing links to the capital. Located at the heart of the ‘world class’ Oxford to Cambridge Arc, it will have unrivalled rail connectivity within the region and beyond, which gives a strong basis for future growth and investment, the council says.
Cllr Martin Gowans, cabinet member for planning and transport, published the Central Bletchley Prospectus after extensive consultation with the local community. The opportunities include:
- New gateways, creating an eastern railway station entrance and a transport interchange that faces the town centre.
- Reconnecting Queensway by opening up Queensway and reconnecting it with the Buckingham Road.
- Working with partners to enable the redevelopment of underused sites and buildings and the delivery of public realm improvements on Queensway.
- The development of a ‘Station Quarter’. Improved connectivity could enable this to become a thriving mixed-use area in close proximity to the train station and Bletchley Park.
The document sets out Milton Keynes Council’s ambition to ensure Central Bletchley benefits from the opportunities that will flow from East-West Rail and aims to promote these opportunities to potential investors, developers and operators.
The council will now begin the process of producing a planning document setting out guidance for future development within the Central Bletchley Prospectus Area.
It is also bidding for up to £25 million in the government’s Towns Fund programme to benefit Bletchley.
Cllr Gowans said: “I’m delighted to present our exciting prospectus for Central Bletchley. The East-West rail project presents significant opportunities for both local people and businesses in the area.
“This document sets out how we can capitalise on these opportunities in the coming years. I look forward to working with partners to deliver on our ambition for Central Bletchley.”