Wixams: £13m plans for new 20-year-old rail station made public
Plans to build a new station at Wixams should be subject to public consultation. Planning permission for the new town of Wixams, which was granted in 2003, included a “station area”.
A planning application for the new station was approved in 2012, but the project never materialized and the permission eventually expired. When it became apparent that Network Rail and the developer were unable to deliver the station, Bedford Borough Council took over the reins of the project.
The council has allocated £13.4million of Section 106 money – financial contributions from property developments – and invested £26million to ensure the project continues. In addition to a new station, there will be parking and ancillary infrastructure.
Read more: Bedfordshire town set to get new train station
The new station would be located in the aptly named Station Quarter, on the western edge of the Wixams, and on the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Flitwick stations. It will be served by up to four Thameslink trains per hour in each direction.
Plans for the facility will include two platforms, a station building complete with restrooms, waiting room and café, and parking for up to 350 vehicles. There will be provisions for electric vehicles, blue badges, secure bike parks and provisions for taxis and buses.
Two town planning files must be filed. A “reserved questions” request to provide further details of the proposal and a full planning request relating to the land required for the construction of the platforms and works on the railway line.
Bedford Borough Council is now launching a public consultation ahead of the official planning application. There will be two drop-in events for local residents, businesses and interested parties to learn more and ask questions. These will take place at Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Wixams, on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and June 28 from 2 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The people of Wixams have been promised a station for a long time, and I’m thrilled we were able to step in, fill the funding gap and help get this station back on track. This is a significant investment in the borough’s transport provision and creates more opportunities for sustainable travel here in Bedford Borough. Please take a look at the plans, come to one of the appointments if you can and let us know what you think.
There will be an information section showing station plans available on the Bedford Borough Council website. Or feedback can be provided by emailing W[email protected], or writing to Wixams Station, Major Projects, Borough Hall, Cauldwell St, Bedford, MK42 9AP.
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