We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

The Great Rail Betrayal

January 2, 2020 5:46 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Mayor Dave Hodgson and Councillor Wendy Rider campaigning to save InterCity TrainsThe East Midlands Railway (EMR) consultation has confirmed the Conservative Government's downgrade of the Bedford rail services, with Bedford completely disappearing from the Intercity map.

The consultation documents confirm Bedford commuters' and leisure travellers' worst fears:

  • Totally removing Bedford form the Intercity map.
  • No Direct links north beyond Kettering and Corby (due to the government's removal of direct north bound trains via the franchise specification).
  • Slower commuter style trains to London in place of today's intercity services.

Mayor Dave Hodgson and Liberal Democrat colleagues warned about these potential cuts and reductions in service, and local Conservatives accused us of scaremongering!

Mayor Dave and numerous local Liberal Democrats attended the initial consultation alongside hundreds of local residents arguing for Bedford to keep Intercity services and our links to the north and the midlands. It is very disappointing that local residents have been ignored.

Claims in the consultation of a "more frequent service" are complete nonsense in respect of Bedford, as slower trains - all stopping at Luton or Luton Airport - are proposed.

As pointed out by Cllr Henry Vann, Bedford residents have had all the pain for electrification with the closure of Bromham Road Bridge, plus cancelled trains along with rail replacement buses following the chaos of the 2018 timetable change, but none of the gain.

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to intervene and reverse its decision imposed in this broken franchise. They are directly responsible for this disaster.

You can sign the petition calling for the full restoration of our northern connection, and for faster trains into London, here.

We are also urging residents to respond to the East Midlands Railway Consultation, which is open here until February 2020.