Both Oxfordshire and Berkshire are bidding for money to build major rail infrastructure which very few people oppose.
In Oxfordshire, improving Oxford station and ultimately helping to ensure progress on more schemes around the county, including reopening the Cowley branch line which will service Oxford Science Park – currently very difficult to reach other than by road – seems like a no-brainer.
For an historic, world-famous city, one which is driving the sustainability agenda, Oxford’s railway station is less than impressive.
In Berkshire, the bid to bring about the Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) has gone on so long the case for it is almost too obvious. The required link is just 6.5km of mostly tunnel which will benefit millions of people west of the airport by making their journeys more direct.
So many boxes are ticked in these two bids it would be hard to imagine they could easily be dismissed. But so many inexplicable things have happened this year, nothing can be guaranteed.
It remains a slightly crazy, yet justifiable, argument that if the cost of HS2 is value for money, then how can these schemes with proven benefits far and wide at a fraction of its cost, not be?
There must be many LEPs and councils across the country trying to convince the Government of their own schemes while quietly thinking the same.
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