Train connection put back to 2012 at the earliest
Plans to create a direct train link between Bedford and Milton Keynes have been moved back again, and will not begin until 2012 at the earliest.
Members of the Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users Association (BBRUA) who met with bosses from Network Rail and rail operator London Midland revealed that proposals to extend the Marston Vale line into Milton Keynes have been put back a further 12 months.
BBRUA chairman Richard Crane said: "This is a big disappointment.
"This is something we have been hoping for since Milton Keynes opened in the 1980s. We were originally talking about getting there this year. Then it was moved to 2011, now it will be 2012 at the earliest.
"It is frustrating more than anything else. If you are heading from Bedford in that direction then it is likely that Milton Keynes is where you want to go to."
The Marston Vale line has run since 1846, and was once the middle section of the 'Varsity Line' which ran from Oxford to Cambridge.
An attempt to close the line in 1959 failed due to local opposition, but eight years later the line was reduced to its current route from Bedford to Bletchley.
Mr Crane added that other changes made it important for the line to now terminate at Milton Keynes.
He said: "Next week I will have a meeting in Blackpool.
"To get there by train will mean travelling along the Marston Vale line, going over a footbridge with no lift to change train at Bletchley, travelling one stop on another train to Milton Keynes, and then getting the inter city service at Milton Keynes.
"That is enough of a disincentive to put off people from travelling to Milton Keynes by train to catch the intercity service, and it might be enough to put people off
making any of the journey by rail.
"You have to allow for what people's needs are. Bletchley was once a thriving area with shops, and a bustling community and intercity trains.
"Now people are more likely to want to go to Milton Keynes by train, and you have respond to that."
What do you think? Should Bedford and Milton keynes have a rail link? Or is it a waste of time when so many of us prefer to use our own cars to make the journey? Let us know by emailing email@example.com