Bletchley, ‘Fixing the Links’
The proposed East-West Rail link, which is routed through Bletchley, has re-kindled interest in potential links with, and improvements to, Bletchley Railway Station. East-West Rail will place Bletchley at the intersection of strategic east-west and north-south rail routes linking key centres of economic activity. The western section of this route, extending between Oxford and Bedford (via Bletchley), is scheduled to become operational in 2019.
In October 2013, Milton Keynes Council’s [MKC] Cabinet Committee approved a local contribution of £7.65m over the period 2014 to 2028 towards the delivery of East West Rail and there is now an appetite for Bletchley to capitalise on whatever opportunities may flow from that project.
Bletchley Railway Station, despite being on the London to Birmingham West Coast Main Line is in poor condition which gives a negative impression on arrival for visitors to the town. When they exit the station they are faced with an illegible and somewhat hostile pedestrian route which creates unnecessary obstacles for people wanting to access the town centre. This in turn limits potential footfall and spend in and around the town centre area.
Against this context the ‘Fixing the Links’ project comprises the following aims for MKC to maximise the potential benefits of East West Rail and better links to the Town Centre:
- Improving the quality of the pedestrian links/routes between Bletchley Railway Station and Bletchley Town Centre [i.e. based on a methodology for measuring and assessing the quality of walking route(s) between the station and the town centre].
- Working with the train operating partners to maximise opportunities for the creation of a high quality station gateway that will be the main arrival/departure point for people travelling to/from Bletchley by train.
- Creating a more efficient and effective transport interchange in the proximity of Bletchley Railway Station / Bletchley Town Centre.
An indicative map detailing the extent of the proposed project area is appended opposite (refer to the ‘documents’ section in left hand margin of this page); it also details some of the planned and recently delivered initiatives in the area.
The Council submitted a successful funding bid for the project via the SEMLEP Strategic Economic Plan process. Commitment to central government investment of £1.5 million, alongside an envisaged investment of £2 million by way of ‘local contribution’, was confirmed as part of the Growth Deal announcement made in July 2014
A Viability & Options Report was completed in September 2014 [refer ‘documents’ section in left hand margin of this page]. The report explores various options for improving the quality of pedestrian links between Bletchley railway station and Bletchley town centre and the deliverability of these options.
It was produced in collaboration with local stakeholders and organisations including Bletchley & Fenny Stratford Town Council, West Bletchley Council, various land owning interests and transport operators. Feedback received at a stakeholder workshop held at Bletchley Park on 3 July 2014 informed the report.
Consistent with a decision taken by the Council’s Cabinet Committee on 13 October 2014, priorities identified in the report were subjected to detailed design and costing work with a view to implementation in 2016-17.
A Delegated Decision to approve implementation of the ‘Fixing the Links’ scheme, based on the Preliminary Design, was taken by Cllr Middleton, Cabinet Member for Resources and Commercialism, on 5 January 2016.
That decision paved the way for commencement of the construction phase on Monday 18 January 2016.
An A5 leaflet detailing the scope of the project works can be viewed in the documents section of this page [refer left hand margin].
Infrastructure improvements of this kind will, invariably, involve some inconvenience to the highway network. However, please be assured that we will endeavour to mitigate the impact of scheme delivery on local people, businesses, commuters, services and facilities.
It is anticipated that the bulk of the works affecting the highway will be completed by the end of 2016. As we move forward with the construction phase [i.e. utilising MKC’s appointed highway term service contractor, Ringway] we will, of course, continue to monitor and review our delivery strategy.
In the interim, please note that any concerns or issues concerning scheme works can be reported via the following tel. no. and/or e-mail address:
- Tel no: 01908 252353
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please direct any queries on this project to Paul Hammond, Area Manager - MK Land & Tariff in the Infrastructure Coordination & Delivery Team:
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Tel: 01908-254367
Last Updated: 8 January 2020