Network Rail has applied for the powers to build the next part of the Western Section of the East West Rail project which, once complete, will link Oxford and Cambridge, via Bicester, Milton Keynes and Bedford.
The Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, for phase two of the project between Bicester and Bedford.
The East West Railway Company – the dedicated delivery body for the scheme – hopes to begin work next year to reinstate a section of disused railway which runs between Bletchley and Claydon Junction.
Phase one between Oxford and Bicester has already been completed. Phase two will deliver further upgrades which will link Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.
Colin Murphy, head of consenting and environment for Network Rail, East West Rail project said: “The submission of the Transport and Works Act Order is a culmination of four years of work developing the scheme and follows three positive rounds of community consultation, where we’ve continually refined our proposal based on the views of the community and planning experts.
“We have carried out a comprehensive programme of consultation to understand the impact of our proposals and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed. As intended the feedback we received has informed our final proposals which we are submitting today.
“Once completed, the new railway will connect communities and businesses along the route and beyond, creating new opportunities for jobs, housing and economic growth.”