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Rail Services - Conservatives back better Transport for St Neots

6th February 2003

Jonathan Djanogly supports a Bedford to Cambridge rail-link that would effectively follow the A428 and A421, passing through St Neots.

Andrew Lansley and Jonathan Djanogly, Members of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon respectively, have today spoken out in support of a Bedford to Cambridge rail-link that would effectively follow the A428 and A421, passing through St Neots.

Their joint statement was made following the publication on the 4 February of the London to South Midlands Multi Modal Study (LSM), which proposes that an East-West rail-link should be put in place and that 'East of Bedford, it is recommended that a combined corridor is used in conjunction with improvements to the A421 and A428.' The LSM further notes that 'whilst this [rail] scheme features shortly after the 10-year plan period, it is vital that a commitment to the scheme is made now, so that all future design work can take into account the needs of both the road and rail schemes.'

Mr Lansley and Mr Djanogly strongly gave their support to such a rail-link as it would:

- remove traffic from the already overcrowded A428 and A421 by providing a genuine multi modal alternative to commuters in the area

- make St Neots a central location for regional development as it would have both East to West and North to South rail-links

- alleviate some of the development pressures on Cambridge (particularly once the Cambourne development takes place) and aid business access, job mobility and balanced development across Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire [and Bedfordshire]

- reduce congestion on the A1 and M11 by providing better East-West access

Andrew Lansley MP said:

"Cambridge needs better public transport links, which enable growth in the sub-region to be distributed and for rail commuting to Cambridge's employment centres to be a viable option for more of my constituents. This proposal could deliver that very effectively."

Jonathan Djanogly MP said:

"These proposals present a marvellous opportunity for St Neots as well as the region as a whole, and I wholeheartedly support them. The sooner they can be carried out, the better for the people of our area."

Following the publication of the LSM the plans are now to be reviewed by the regional planning body and it is hoped that as many people as possible will write to Bedfordshire County Council in support of these proposals. Letters should be addressed to: The LSM Regional Planning Body, c/o Bedfordshire County Council, County Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP "

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