Wixams development unveils plans for railway station after 19 years

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WixamsImage source, Google
Image caption,
Wixams is an estate off the A6, south of Bedford

Plans for a housing development to get its own railway station almost 20 years after the estate was originally conceived have been unveiled.

Bedford Borough Council is to put £26m towards the £39m cost of the station at Wixams, near Bedford.

The authority said its plans were "at a formative stage" and no formal process had begun.

The Department for Transport will need to approve any plans before they can proceed.

A formal planning application will be submitted "after public engagement" and another formal consultation will take place if the plans proceed through the planning process.

Current proposals would see the station built on the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Flitwick, and served by up to four Thameslink trains an hour each way.

The outline planning application for Wixams, which was granted in 2003 and amended in 2012, included provision for a Station Quarter.

A separate planning application was approved for a railway station in 2012, but the permission was not implemented.

The remaining £13m from developer Gallagher was not enough to build it - and Network Rail was unable to provide the shortfall - so planning permission lapsed.

'Back on track'

The council has now taken on the role as project sponsor and is investing the additional funds to help ensure the two-platform station, plus a car park for up to 350 vehicles, can be delivered.

Plans for the main building include toilets, a waiting room and coffee shop.

Elected Liberal Democrat mayor for Bedford, Dave Hodgson, said: "The residents of Wixams have been promised a railway station for a long time, and I am pleased that we have been able to step in, fill the funding gap, and help to get this station back on track.

"This is a significant investment in the borough's transport provision, and creates more opportunity for sustainable travel here in Bedford Borough."

The authority is organising drop-in events for residents and businesses to find out more and ask questions.

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