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East West Rail Company launch live chat and webinar consultation series

East West Rail Company (EWR) is launching a series of live chat events and webinars as part of the latest phase of its consultation.

The innovative approach looks to address the five possible alignments of the Oxford to Cambridge rail link through Bedford station.

Locals and residents from across the Borough have been encouraged to take part to ensure their views are heard and shared in the process.

The webinars and live chats hopes to create the opportunity for greater attendance and eradicating the issues of accessibility, which has been a topic of discussion in regards to consultation sessions for a while.

This consultation will address EWR’s proposal to compulsorily purchase and demolish a number of homes in the Poets Area to enable the expansion of Bedford Station.

The news has come as shock and as consequence residents set up the Protect the Poets Group. A spokesperson for the steering group said: “Protect Poets encourages everyone to attend these events and challenge EWR’s proposal to add more tracks and demolish homes.

“We also encourage people to question EWR’s consultation process as it appears to us, they have been far from transparent” Bedford Borough Council has voiced its opposition to a six-track alignment.

“It’s important to recognize that ‘Route E’ can be built without demolishing homes in the Poets area – that’s just one option, albeit the one that EWR say they prefer,” John Kell of the Bedford Rail blog told the Bedford Independent.

“Building extra tracks on that land will undoubtedly improve the performance of the railway, but there are alternatives – unfortunately, EWR have buried these in the ‘Technical Report’ published alongside the consultation.”

Overall, this new approach by (EWR) can be seen as positive and transparent move and an interest in local democracy, as consultation is always preferred by local residents who might be future but never an obligation.

If you have interest in following the consultation process, you can obtain more information through the link below.

https://eastwestrail.co.uk/consultation/virtual

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