People in Bedford have given East West Rail a thumbs-up in a survey on the project’s benefits.

The East West Rail Company (EWR Co) asked 1,000 people about the proposed new services from Bedford to Cambridge, Cambourne, Milton Keynes and Oxford and found at least 75 per cent gave positive responses.

The results showed:

  • 80 per cent believe it will improve access to jobs
  • 75 per cent say it will boost access to education
  • 78 per cent believe it will improve access to essential public services like hospitals
  • 83 per cent say it will improve how people can travel around the area

EWR Co chief executive Beth West said: “This new survey is strong testament to the support that Bedford residents have for East West Rail and underpins how the project will bring such game-changing benefits to the local community.

“East West Rail has been designed to improve quality of life for everyone across the region. What this poll shows is that Bedford residents agree that EWR will do that by improving people’s access to quality jobs, educational opportunities and public services.

“We believe the route we have chosen, which connects the town centre and Bedford Hospital, is the one that will deliver the most benefits for Bedford. It’s clear from this survey that people do recognise the opportunities our line will bring.

“It’s important that a major transport project like ours has support from people who live and work in the town. We always thought this to be the case and now have strong evidence to back this up.

“We will continue to work hard with local businesses and communities in Bedford to ensure East West Rail improves their everyday lives, which includes working closely with local transport providers to maximise the potential of local and regional services.”

EWR Co said direct benefits to the town of East West Rail include an upgrade to Bedford Midland station and relocation of Bedford St Johns station closer to Bedford Hospital.

It would make Bedford a 35-minute journey from Cambridge, bringing business and employment benefits.

Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce lobbied Government before Christmas, calling for the full delivery of the project to be speeded up to help revitalise Bedford town centre.

Detailed results of the survey can be seen here.

© Eastern Echo (powered by

Sign up to receive our weekly free journal, The Forum here.