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BFARe critique Bedford Borough’s report on the alternative EWR Alignments

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Tom Wootton, convened a Council meeting on 6th February 2024 to present the findings of three consultant reports that compare alternatives to the EWRCo preferred route through Bedford and out across north Bedfordshire countryside. These reports were from Systra, SLC Rail and JBA. 

In his summary report, Jon Shortland, the Council’s Head of Planning and Infrastructure concluded there was no clear winner between any of the options, with the southern options, including BFARe’s proposed hybrid route, performing almost as well as the northern options. 

Our full analysis of the consultant reports can be found at this link.

The Secret EWR Economic Growth Board deciding your future

The National Audit Office report on EWR revealed the existence of an HM Treasury officer-led EWR economic growth board. But the public is not allowed to see who is on the board nor are we allowed to see their meeting minutes. Secrecy rarely leads to good decisions, and this unaccountable board and its meetings are deciding the fate of our region.

East West Rail Value is Based on Wishful Thinking

The National Audit Office (NAO) report on East West Rail found that the value of the 9B infrastructure project to “unclear”. Cambridge Approaches and BFARe believe the Department for Transport (DfT) claims of EWR-related economic growth involve a dark world of wishful thinking.

EWR Rejection Delivered to Rail Minister

A declaration of opposition to East West Rail was delivered to Huw Merriman, Rail Minister, on Sept 6, 2023. This declaration was signed by elected officials across the region who represent 200,000 residents impacted by the EWR project. The rejection of EWR represents a significant shift in official opinion regarding the project and route proposal.

How Bedford Blight Serves the East West Rail Project

East West Rail will bring Construction Blight, Remove Hospital Parking, and allow Unbridled Greenfield Homebuilding. The diesel East West Railway is an inefficient and antiquated Victorian transport solution without merit for modern ecological inter-city travel.

Declaration of Opposition to East West Rail

We write this declaration in response to the East West Rail Bedford to Cambridge Route Update Announcement dated 26th May 2023.

This **letter is to formally state the following: “We do not want the East West Rail Company’s proposal as described in the Route Update Announcement.”

Route E is the Worst Choice to Serve Our Community

BFARe firmly believes East West Rail Route E is the worst route to serve our community. It is not fit for purpose and is a waste of taxpayer money. It is another HS2.

BFARe will continue to fight Route E. We will continue to publicise how Route E will destroy homes, businesses, quality of life, our countryside, and the environment for all of Bedford Borough.

March 26th, noon – March for the Bedfordshire Countryside

Public Review of East West Rail Business Case is Required

East West Rail: Open Letter

No Direction, No Mandate and No Business Case

Richard Fuller MP now Formally Opposed to East West Rail

Join BFARE and CPRE Bedfordshire on the Save Our Greenfields – Protest Walk

East West Rail meets North Bedfordshire Councillors – Wyboston, Oct 19, 2021.

Richard Fuller MP holds an Adjournment Debate in Parliament on East West Rail and North East Bedfordshire

BFARe Issues Formal Response to the EWRco 2021 Consultation

BFARe Letter to Bedford Borough Council for 2nd of June Meeting Re: Bedford Borough Council’s Handling of East West Rail Consultations

BFARe FACT CHECK recent Bedford Borough Council Meetings

BFARe’s Mike Barlow interviewed on 3 Counties Radio – Andy Collins Show

BFARe STATEMENT: Council Calls For Protection of Homes North of Bedford Station


BFARe Latest News and Research: Join the Campaign!

BFARe has been looking into whether judicial review could be used to force EWRCo to reconsider their choice of Route E. We have now consulted our barrister, who is experienced in major infrastructure projects like this one. Whilst the unexplained discrepancies in route costs between 2019 and 2020 could be of legal concern, now is no the time to raise a legal challenge. Our barrister believes there may be further opportunities for a legal challenge once the route alignment is published.

Now is not the time to sit back, we must continue to press on and try to obtain information that can be used in our potential Judicial Review after the alignment announcements. Please click this link for the full report…

Route Selection Unanswered Questions: Richard Fuller MP replies to Constituent

Dear [redacted]

I recently must start by apologising for the very long delay in replying to your email. As you noted, I did receive a large amount of correspondence from constituents.

Unfortunately I had mislaid your email and so did not respond earlier as I was able to do with other constituents.

Perhaps I can update you on what actions I have taken as your MP. I have been facilitating meetings for local residents and Parish Councillors and over the past few weeks….

New Consultation is Based on a Flawed 2019 Consultation

BFARe states that the new public consultation released on 31st March 2021 is based upon a flawed Route Consultation from 2019 and is therefore invalid. We believe this to be true given the cost increases from the new proposal – which now require serious back-checking versus alternative routes.   We can only assume that East West Rail’s continued lack of transparency is deliberate. 

Read our presentation on the flawed 2019 Consultation and resulting correspondence with Chris Heaton-Harris here.

Google Earth map interpretation of the new East West Rail consultation route.

A new 3D google earth map showing the preferred East West Rail alignments out of Bedford. – courtesy of campaign member Jetinder Dhaliwal 

EWR’s second non-statutory consultation opens today, 31.03.2021

EWR has announced the next stage of public consultation on the East West Rail Project. You have until 09.06.2021 to read their proposals and express your views. – 31.03.2021

CPRE Bedfordshire working in partnership with BFARe

CPRE Bedfordshire, the countryside charity, are pleased to be working in partnership with the BFARe (Bedford For A Re-Consultation) campaign. – 22.03.2021

Brickhill Parish Council Rescinds Support for EWR – Route ‘E’

Brickhill Parish Council has written to East West Rail (EWR) to rescind its previous support for Route E – 22.03.2021

Meeting with Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State, Department for Transport and Richard Fuller MP

The BFARe campaign met Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister for Transport yesterday, set up by Richard Fuller MP – 17/03/2021

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