City on track for high speed train

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TRAINS travelling at 250mph could be thundering close to houses in the south of the city, the Citizen can reveal.

For MK’s ruling Tories have asked the Government to shift the route of its proposed High Speed 2 line CLOSER to Milton Keynes.

And they are even asking for an extra station to be built on the outskirts of the city for the non-stop London to Birmingham service.

But opposition councillors say the change would bring noise and chaos for residents. And they predict the worst affected area will be Wolverton.

The council, in its official HS2 consultation response, concentrates on the economic benefits a local stop off would bring.

‘Such a station should not necessarily be seen as an intermediate stop between London and Birmingham but as part of a national/European network,’ the report states.

It adds: ‘Milton Keynes can act as a successful point of access to Europe and beyond. This would reduce pressure on nearby regional airports and potentially contribute to a more environmentally sound approach to international travel.’

But while an HS2 link may make sound economic sense, opposition councillors are worried about the impact on the lives of residents living nearby.

The current proposal is to build the line on an ‘as the crow flies’ route between London and Birmingham, skirting the city a few miles south of Stony Stratford.

Bucks County Council has already objected to the proposal as the new line would run metres away from affluent homes.

This week Milton Keynes Lib Dem spokesman Sam Crooks accused city Tories of railroading the Milton Keynes approval through – and vowed to stop it in its tracks.

“They have requested this line be moved closer and an extra station built here. But they have failed to realise the effect this would have on our residents,” he said.

“In areas of South Bucks, families will have trains thundering literally through their back gardens. I fear it could be the same situation here. Towns such as Wolverton and Stony Stratford would be the worst hit.”

Mr Crooks said the unaltered route would still benefit the city by freeing space on other commuter trains.

“What we really need is better services on the existing West coast main line and more trains stopping in Bletchley and Wolverton,” he said.