Council supports high speed rail route plan

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Milton Keynes Council supports the need for a high speed rail link but wishes to see the route changed to allow a stop nearer Milton Keynes to boost the city’s economy.

MKC in response to the Government’s consultation is backing HS2 in Milton Keynes if it creates a realistic potential to enhance local and regional economic performance.

That is why the council is calling for the route to be changed to allow for a station nearer to Milton Keynes to make the borough even more attractive in the future for businesses to relocate to the city and in turn create more jobs.

Currently, part of the success of Milton Keynes as a regional centre is based on having strong and effective transport links to the rest of the country as well as to our region within the South East Midlands Local Economic Partnership area (SEMLEP).

East West connections are also vital to ensure that strong links are made between Cambridge, Bedford, Aylesbury and Oxford, and with the WCML.

Milton Keynes has a role to play as a significant rail hub linking the radial routes from London (WCML, East Coast line, Chiltern line and the route to the West Country).

Councillor John Bint, cabinet member responsible for Transport for MKC, said: “East West Rail (EWR) 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.

“We would support associated infrastructure improvements in the area to ensure such a route/hub would be accessible to its sub-regional hinterland which includes Aylesbury, Bedford, Northampton, North Northants, Luton and Oxford.

“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. “

Councillor Andrew Geary, leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “Milton Keynes can act as a successful point of access to Europe and beyond. Milton Keynes has the potential to develop as one of the top 10 UK cities therefore national and international connections are essential.

This response to HS2 was outlined at a Cabinet meeting of Milton Keynes Council on Tuesday, September 6.