MP calls for high-speed rail station for Brackley

MP Brian Binley.
MP Brian Binley.
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A county MP and rail activist has called for a station to be built in Brackley if the high speed rail link goes ahead.

Northampton South MP Brian Binley said a Brackley station would help ease the congestion on the West Coast Main Line, which currently serves Northampton rail users.

The Tory MP is also chairman of Northampton Rail Users Group and spoke out after an announcement about a series of track closures in the Watford area next year. A 12-mile stretch near Watford Junction station will be closed for 36 days between May 2014 and April 2015 as part of a £81 million project to improve punctuality.

Mr Binley said: “This is another reason why HS2 is so vital to the nation. There is a real problem with the West Coast Main Line – it is already up to capacity.”

Mr Binley argued rail capacity would have to be increased as tens of thousands of homes are built in the county over the next two decades.

He added: “Everyone talking about it only taking 20 minutes off the journey to Birmingham is missing the point. It is really about capacity. The way to do this is not longer platforms or more carriages, it is a new connection to London. I will be calling for a station at Brackley.

“Speed is not that important, not every train would stop at Brackley.”

HS2 Ltd has always ruled out a stop between London and Birmingham as the time it would take to slow down, alight passengers, and speed up again would cancel out any time savings. South Northants MP Andrew Leadsom opposes HS2 on the grounds it is not value for money and will damage countryside.