Local MP presents petition calling for Aylesbury link to East West Rail

'The line would cut congestion on the roads, improve journey times on the rails and reduce air pollution," says Rob Butler

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 3:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 3:32 pm

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler has presented a petition in the House of Commons calling for funding to be approved for construction of the Aylesbury spur of East West Rail.

More than 2,060 people have signed the petition, urging the government to commit to completing the proposed spur between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes

The link would connect Aylesbury to the main East West Rail line between Bicester and Bletchley - which includes the new station currently being built at Winslow - ultimately connecting Aylesbury to Milton Keynes.

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Rob Butler MP in Parliament

Presenting the petition, organised by Aylesbury East ward councillor Mark Winn, to Parliament yesterday, Tuesday, February 1, Rob Butler said the Aylesbury link "is vital to the future prosperity of our town".

He said: "As Aylesbury continues to grow, we need the right infrastructure both to support new houses and to benefit existing residents.

"The line would cut congestion on the roads, improve journey times on the rails and reduce air pollution.

"More than 2,000 people locally have signed an additional petition on the subject, showing the strength of feeling in this area."

Chris Wright, secretary of the Oxon and Bucks Rail Action Group (OBRAC)

Speaking afterwards, Mr Butler told the Bucks Herald: “I was delighted to present this petition which clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling of Aylesbury residents.

"We all want better transport connections to the rest of the country.

"This vital link has always been an integral part of the published plans for East West Rail, yet inexplicably was left off the detailed proposals published by the Department for Transport.

"It would bring direct benefits to new residents and, importantly, to people who already live in the town.

"This is just the latest stage of my long campaign to secure the money that will help level up Aylesbury.

"I have already met relevant ministers and representatives of the East West Rail Consortium, I’ve asked questions on the floor of the House of Commons and have held an adjournment debate to ensure local people’s voices are heard.

"I will continue to make the case for the railway people in Buckinghamshire do want, rather than the one they don’t.”

The Oxon and Bucks Rail Action Committee (OBRAC) warmly welcomed Rob Butler's support for securing the Aylesbury to Milton Keynes rail service.

Secretary Chris Wright said: "Since 1986, local MPs and councils have supported the link.

"Chiltern Railways included the scheme in their 20-year contract and secured the rebuilding of the Oxford-Bicester line with a new service to London.

"Yet in 2022, funding has still not been provided.

"OBRAC supports the efforts of Rob Butler and his colleague ,Greg Smith, and is in contact with them and councils."

Mr Wright said OBRAC is working up a new campaign document emphasising the connectivity advantages of the rail link.

And he added: "We had thought it was allow over and funding achieved - and had not expected a possible government U-turn."