Harpur Ward councillors Colleen Atkins and Louise Jackson’s priority is to save homes in the Poets area from demolition. That is why they have concentrated their efforts on opposing EWR's six-track proposal and supported the council’s decision to appoint SLC Rail as consultants to investigate a solution using the existing four tracks.
They are pleased the council’s consultant’s report about EWR 4-track v. 6-track has been released today.
The report shows that East West Rail (EWR) trains could run on the existing lines, as in a standard hour of train services there is still 28 minutes – nearly half of the time – where the line is free and an East West Rail service could run. It also shows that this free time could be extended to 40 minutes in the hour with some relatively minor changes to the track layout within its existing boundaries.
This report concludes that with efficient timetabling and some track layout adjustments it is possible to bring the East West Rail service through Bedford Midland without the need to demolish homes. This would also be a cheaper option than the proposed six tracks.
On that basis, Colleen and Louise see no need for EWR to build the suggested new tracks as their trains could run comfortably on the four current lines. They will press EWR to adopt these findings and thus avoid the need to demolish any homes in the Poets area. The Council will say that in its formal response too.
Here’s the links to the council's press release and the SLC report.
The councillors urge everyone to respond to EWR's consultation and may wish to refer to the report when sending their comments.