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Campaigners are celebrating after Central Railway’s plans for a freight line through Brackley were thrown out by Parliament on Friday night.

Central Railway had asked for permission to establish a freight line linking Lutterworth to the Channel, which would have created a passenger station at Brackley.

The £1.2 billion scheme had to get the approval of MPs before going to a public inquiry stage but it only attracted support from seven MPs, with 172 against.

The plan had attracted growing opposition over a number of years and when the company made its formal  submission  to the Department of Transport a wide range of residents and organisations made official objections.

These included the National Farmers Union, the Environment Agency, English Heritage and the Council for Preservation of Rural England.

Brackley county councillor and district councillor Isabel Armstrong said:” I’m delighted because we were not being told enough detail and Central Railway had  not prepared safeguards for the environment.”

She added: It will certainly feel as if a weight has been lifted for the people who live in the vicinity of the line.  They were suffering from blight and people were just not coming anywhere near the area.”

Helmdon county councillor Cllr Ben Smith added “The people I represent will certainly be relieved now that Parliament has stopped Central Railway in its tracks.

“Thousands of people and many organisations across the county have campaigned against the scheme and our efforts have been well rewarded.

“With such a heavy defeat in the Commons I believe the Central Railway scheme is finally dead.”

Brackley campaigner and a member of the Central Railway Action Group, Roy Barling said: “I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the majority.  All the people along the line knew how awful the proposals would be, but it was pleasing to see such a huge vote against it.”

Chairman of the Central Railway Action Group, Jim Aitkinhead, said: “It is disappointing.  Unhappily a golden opportunity for Britain has been lost and will not arise again.   The company will now consider the position and an announcement would be made in due course.


Probable Banbury or Brackley newspaper

July 26th, 1996






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