Have your say on controversial plans for Wixams Railway Station near Bedford

Residents will finally get to see what the station will look like
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People are being invited to have their say on plans for Wixams Railway Station which is set to open by the end of 2024.

Plans have now been submitted with construction due to start in late 2023, subject to necessary rail industry consents being secured, and for the station to open to passengers by the end of 2024.

The plans include a ‘reserved matters’ application (ref. 22/01933/MAR) seeking approval of details reserved for later consideration as part of the previous ‘outline’ approval for the station, and a new full planning application (ref. 22/01954/MDC3) relating to land required for the construction of the platforms and works to the line, which were not included under the original outline application.

Mayor Dave Hodgson (pictured fourth left) at the Wixams Station siteMayor Dave Hodgson (pictured fourth left) at the Wixams Station site
Mayor Dave Hodgson (pictured fourth left) at the Wixams Station site

Cllr Headley, Portfolio Holder for Rail, said: “A fully accessible railway station at Wixams has long been talked about and, since the council became involved, things are really starting to happen. The development of Wixams Station will bring new opportunities for residents with better transport links and sustainable travel opportunities.

“I would encourage people to make sure their voices are heard by formally responding to this planning application.

“All residents of Wixams will live within 2km of the new station. For most people this would mean a maximum 25-minute walk or a 10-minute cycle ride. With improved pedestrian walkways, bicycle parking and access, the new station will undoubtedly be pivotal in helping create a more sustainable future that is less reliant on car travel.”

Conservative group leader and Wixams Councillor, Graeme Coombes, said: “Yet more good news regarding Wixams Station as the planning applications have been submitted, so we will at long last get to see what our station will look like.

"I am sure Wixams residents will scrutinise the plans and make their feelings known and I also hope that, for once, the council actually takes note of local opinion, as it has form on frequently ignoring residents' views.”

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For more information and to have your say visit the council website and search using the application numbers 22/01933/MAR and 22/01954/MDC3.

All representations should be returned via the website or email ([email protected]) by midnight on October 5, 2022. If emailing, include your postal address and specify Objection, Support or Comment at the top of your correspondence.

> Wixams railway station was due to be built on the Midland Main Line for the Wixams new town development and due to be completed in 2015 but Network Rail withdrew their promise of funding. In 2017, Gallagher Estates applied for government funding for the station.

> In July 2017, it was reported the site would be located further north as part of the East West Rail project.

> In January 2019, East West Railway Company revealed five options for a potential Bedford-Cambridge route, with 3 options proposing a new station at Bedford South close to Wixams. However in January 2020, that plan was dropped.

> In January 2022 Bedford Borough Council announced a preferred design for the new station with completion of the station expected in 2024.

> Wixams Station will be located in Station Quarter at the western boundary of Wixams. Situated on the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Flitwick Stations, it will offer access to the local and national rail network.