Some of you will have seen on the news yesterday that a public inquiry has just started into Chiltern Railways’ Evergreen 3 project. Evergreen 3 will lead to a new Oxford to Marylebone service, via Bicester and High Wycombe. It could also be used for the proposed East-West railink which would link Ipswich and Cambridge to Milton Keynes and Oxford, without going through London.
Evergreen 3 will mostly use existing railway lines, upgraded for the new service, but there will be some limited stretches of new track.
That leaves me with a question.
If this privately funded, railway project is deemed by the Secretary of State to need a public inquiry, why won’t there be one for a significantly more expensive, more disruptive railway line, which will be funded by the taxpayer?