12.03.2024 /

Oxford to Bedford services accelerated as part of Spring Budget investment

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Following the final piece of track-laying on stage one of East West Rail, we’re delighted that work on the Marston Vale Line (MVL) between Bletchley and Bedford will be brought forward, enabling services between Oxford and Bedford to begin by 2030.

GIF of map connecting Oxford to Bedford
Upgrades on the Marston Vale Line will be accelerated to enable one EWR train per hour between Oxford and Bedford by 2030.


The MVL runs between Bletchley and Bedford Midland stations and forms the central section of East West Rail (EWR). Currently serviced by an hourly stopping service, the underlying infrastructure needs to be upgraded for future EWR services. The upgrades that have been accelerated will include works on level crossings, track and signalling improvements, plus safety and accessibility enhancements which are all supported by £240m from existing funding to allow a one train per hour service between Oxford and Bedford.

This government investment will allow people living between Oxford and Bedford to access the benefits of EWR much sooner than originally planned. It will improve access to innovation and economic hubs in Oxford, Bedford, and Milton Keynes, boosting connectivity and unlocking productivity across the region as well as allowing better access to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure opportunities.

It’s good to see the next stage of East West Rail receive the green light to proceed with upgrading the existing section of line between Bletchley and Bedford. When complete this upgrade will enable faster greener connections for the many small businesses in the area, connecting key towns and cities across the wider region.”

– Suzanna Austin, Development Manager (Beds, Cambs and Herts), Federation of Small Businesses

Business leaders’ backing for the fast-tracking of works along the MVL comes after the final section of track was laid on the first stage of EWR between Bicester and Bletchley, which was marked with a ceremony last week.

Full details of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, can be found here.