Conservative North East Bedfordshire MP, Mr Richard Fuller, secured an adjournment debate on Monday 28 June to discuss the many problems with the current East West Rail (EWR) scheme and how they have conducted their consultations.
During the debate, Richard Fuller MP raised a number of wide-ranging issues that include:
- The costings given by EWR and how they changed after the original route consultation, without members of the public being able to comment further on this.
- The lack of a proper environmental impact assessment and how this could lead to the scheme not meeting net zero carbon targets, and its impact on the North East Bedfordshire countryside.
- The Mayor’s decision to not bring Bedford Borough Council’s response to the original consultation to Councillors for a proper debate.
- Failure to account for other factors, such as how much emphasis will be placed on freight, how Covid will effect this and the use of polluting fuel.
In response the Minister promised Richard Fuller a meeting with EWR where full costing documents would be made available to him prior to the meeting.
Conservative Deputy Group Leader, Cllr Roger Rigby commented:
“Conservative MP Richard Fuller in the adjournment debate expressed the major concerns of residents and Conservative Councillors over the East West Rail consultation.
I am delighted that he raised the concerns of BFARe, he exposed the lack of true debate and timely consultation within Bedford Borough Council’s response and my group hope the Minister will take all of Mr Richard Fuller’s points on board and will investigate the very flawed consultation and decision making processes that have gone on from the start.
The Mayor always brings up the 2019 Conservative Mayoral candidate’s support for a route through the town, but he failed to tell him and anyone else about a 6 track plan and the destruction of nearly 100 homes.”
Conservative Councillor Spokesperson for East West Rail, Cllr Stephen Moon said:
“I am grateful that Richard Fuller raised these concerns with the Minister, and highlighted the secrecy that Bedford Borough residents have faced throughout this process with East West Rail. It is a tragedy for so many residents that the Mayor has never kept them fully informed. “