Aylesbury spur excluded from Government's latest East West Rail route outline

The £5 billion rail project is set to be unveiled by the Government
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The latest Government update on the East West Rail project improving transport links in the south of England did not include the Aylesbury spur.

It was hoped that the rail project would have a rail line linking Aylesbury to nearby Milton Keynes.

Officials on the project have refused to rule out adding a route in and out of Aylesbury.

Aylesbury could be added to the project at a future dateAylesbury could be added to the project at a future date
Aylesbury could be added to the project at a future date

A prefered route map released by the Government on Friday (26 May), included Aylesbury only as a potential future section of the project.

Additional trains will travel from Cambridge to Oxford with Milton Keynes, and Bedford included in the plans which will see additional trains using nearby Winslow station.

It was hoped that Aylesbury could be included in the initial plans, given that its current Chiltern Rail service only goes directly to a handful nearby Bucks towns and villages, as well as often taking over an hour to reach London.

Chair of the Oxon and Bucks Rail Action Committee, Chris Wright said: “People who wish to go north will need to travel into and across London at additional time and fare costs.”

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Including Aylesbury in the project at a future date was not ruled out. An East West Rail spokesperson said: “Respondents told us that they felt it was important for EWR to provide services linking Aylesbury to the rest of the new railway.

"A branch to Aylesbury is currently out of the scope of the Project that we’ve been tasked to deliver by the Department for Transport. However, the new railway is being designed so as not to preclude additional services extensions – including to Aylesbury – in the future."

Aylesbury has been left out of current plans due to commercial reasons, new documentation shows.

A statement released on Friday says: “It was challenging to provide a positive conventional business case to support the cost of additional infrastructure required.

“Aylesbury connections did not open up more affordable solutions for EWR, and conventional transport modelling analysis continues to suggest the benefits of extending EWR services to Aylesbury do not justify the costs.”