Following Richard's question on East West Rail in Parliament on Tuesday, which can be watched here, Richard met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, on Wednesday.
Speaking after the meeting, Richard Fuller MP said:
I had a tough follow-up meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on Wednesday.
It was important to have this meeting as soon as possible after Tom Wootton winning the Bedford Borough Mayoralty where EWR was certainly a major issue, and I was grateful to the Rt Hon John Glen MP for finding the time to see me so quickly.
I knew going into this meeting that decisions on EWR are well advanced. We continue to wait for the business case, but this was my opportunity to impress upon the Treasury that better, greener alternatives exist to deliver growth objectives around Oxford and Cambridge; alternatives that are far more relevant to modern communities and ways of living than the outdated and flawed assumptions that underpinned the original thinking behind Lord Adonis' EWR plan.
I hope that John Glen will listen to me and Tom and keep open the dialogue on alternatives to EWR. This is not about looking for alternative routes but rather a complete rethink on how to unlock growth in the OxCam Arc and that conversation needs to continue.
I made it clear to John Glen that I will continue to fight against what I consider to be a colossal waste of taxpayer money, let alone the impact on people's lives and the permanent scarring of the Bedfordshire countryside. EWR will have to fight every inch of the way if they are to get one penny of taxpayer money with my support.