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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 18:41 GMT
Concern over East-West rail link
The government has been criticised over its lack of support for a planned rail link between East Anglia and Oxford.

Supporters of the East-West rail service believe it is vital to the economy of the region.

But a report to the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) says it is "disappointed" by the lack of support for the scheme.

The government said it was still consulting over the strategy and would "respond in due course."

EERA is looking at the government's proposed changes to the regional strategy for the eastern region.

'Plan shortsighted'

A report to EERA's transport forum says the "lack of support for the East-West rail is very disappointing".

The route can be divided into three distinct sections: Eastern (Ipswich/Norwich to Cambridge), Central (Cambridge to Bedford) and Western (Bedford to Oxford/Swindon).

A report to EERA's transport forum, which meets on 15 January, says there is "little support for re-instating the missing section of the proposed East-West rail link between Bedford and Cambridge".

It says that the government is not protecting the route between Bedford and Cambridge - which is threatened by plans to build a rowing lake.

"Failure to encourage route protection for the missing link in ... the plan is shortsighted and will make it more difficult for the future," says the report.

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