Local MP takes call for Aylesbury Railway Spur to House of Commons

Rob Butler MP outside Aylesbury Station. Photo credit: Tim Abington

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler has today stepped up his campaign for the Aylesbury spur of East-West Rail with a question in the House of Commons. Rob asked the Transport Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP, to commit to helping secure funding for the vital Aylesbury link that has not yet received the formal go-ahead.

Contributing by virtual link to the House of Commons chamber, Rob said:
“My constituents are really enthusiastic about a piece of rail infrastructure that could bring a real benefit to their lives. No, they haven’t changed their minds about HS2, the railway that they really want to see is the Aylesbury spur of East-West Rail.

“However, funding so far hasn’t been secured despite it being in the original proposals and despite the DfT’s own figures showing a stronger business case for East-West Rail than for HS2, so will my Honourable Friend commit to working across government to get funding for the Aylesbury spur which would reduce car use, cut emissions, and help level up my town?”

In response, the Transport Minister said:
“As my Honourable Friend is aware, in January the Government approved an additional £760 million of new funding to deliver East-West Rail between Oxford and Milton Keynes.

“I know my Honourable Friend has met with the Chief Secretary of the Treasury and the Rail Minister to make the case for connecting Aylesbury to East-West Rail. I understand how important this connection is to his constituency and we continue to explore the options.”

Afterwards, Rob said:
“At the moment we’re being forced to accept a railway we don’t want, which is HS2, but we’re not yet getting the funding for the railway we do want, the Aylesbury spur of East-West Rail. I find this quite staggering, when the business case for the western section of East-West Rail is much stronger than the business case for HS2, as I said in Parliament today.

“I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both in Westminster and on the floor of the House of Commons, to give the go-ahead to this much-needed infrastructure project and help make Aylesbury an even better place to live, work, visit and invest.”