Over the 50+ years since the original Ampthill Station was closed, as part of a cost cutting measure and a speeding up of Midland Main Line rail services, development of housing, retail, leisure and other outlets has blossomed around a 5 mile catchment of the ancient hillside town of Ampthill.
Ampthill has long been recognised, being more or less central to Bedfordshire, north-south and east-west, and the roads and rails reflect that historical and strategic centrality.
To the West we have the M1 and the two current Junctions of Toddington (Junction 12), and Brogborough slightly to the North West (Junction 13). These are linked via Ampthill and Flitwick with the A5120 and the M1-A1 cross country trunk road from north Hertfordshire, the A507 which acts as an east-west spinal road linking East Central Bedfordshire with the M1 and further westwards, the regional magnet of Milton Keynes.
Ampthill boasts Lockheed Martin’s as a major employer, CentreParcs which is generating increasing tourism visitors as well as employment, Wrest Park and the A6 to the East and between these cordons, infill housing and other development is taking place as the des-res factor informs people from other places, including North London, to flock to the area.
Visitors enjoy the views from Ampthill Park, the Georgian architecture, small shops, pubs and much more.
A side effect is growing traffic, congestion, demand for parking outstripping land available and development in Marston Vale and Wixams informs a growing commute to Flitwick across Ampthill.
It’s time to put Ampthill back on the railway map!
Some reasons we are aware of:
- A large number of rail commuters living in Ampthill and its surrounding villages have to travel to Flitwick, often by car, resulting in Flitwick’s residential streets getting clogged up with parked cars, traffic jams on the A5120 Ampthill – Flitwick road and congestion at Flitwick station.
- The new CentreParcs holiday and leisure park is now open, and Flitwick and Bedford are charged to cope with increased passenger volumes. CentreParcs is a traffic generator and is situated nearer Ampthill than Flitwick on the A507. Further commercial and residential developments in the area along that road will bring road traffic into the local villages and towns.
- Ampthill would be connected to the railway network, with direct trains (Thameslink) serving London St. Pancras, Luton Airport and the East Midlands Trains at Bedford enabling easier connections for Eurostar services, airports and many other destinations already served by the growing diversity of Thameslink services.
- The new station will enable more rail use by residents either travelling to London or the East Midlands, which will bring extra capacity to the already congested M1 and associated local junctions at Toddington and Brogborough respectively.
- Providing more parking west of the Midland Main Line, East on the Industrial Estate for ‘kiss and ride’/drop off, pedestrian/cycle and exit only to the south.
- Boosting local shops, outlets and service providers with footfall, spend and sustainably so.
- Closer for incoming visitors to The Town Centre, Historic Park and surrounds.
- Capacity, Parking and closer access for CentreParcs, Woburn, Lockheed Martin’s, Wrest Park and a wider commuter sphere.
- Ease parking pressure elsewhere, as well as provide a better public transport lifeline to other places like Bedford, Luton, Luton Airport and London for work, visiting, shopping and leisure.
- Marston and Ridgmont from the western side means the station can cater for a diverse reach and range of audiences, day time, shift time and weekends.
- Provide impetus for more bus-rail integration, link ups, cross-ticketing and feeding each other with new flows of people and trade.
- Development exists between the town and A507 and the Industrial Estate, so calming the distributor roads, providing crossing facilities for cycle-pedestrian, access to and from the town via Station Road, Redbourne School and growing East Flitwick via Froghall Road, Steppingley Hospital, Rufus Centre, Millbrook and Ridgmont/M1/Brogborough/Marston Vale areas.
- Platforms on the slow lines, a booking hall, disabled access, toilets and coffee shop; served by Thameslink trains. A mere extra 3 minutes on overall journeys to include Ampthill.
ERTA have produced an Ampthill Report, a brief introduction to a proposed new station for the town and surrounding area of Ampthill at the heart of Bedfordshire, and a new 2017 brochure :
- If you support our aims and objectives here, please write to the following encouraging their cooperation:
- Join ERTA – every member helps make us a louder shout for more of what we may wish for. Please see Membership page for more information.
- Offer time and talent – if you want to get involved we have volunteer opportunities and whilst we welcome reliability and enthusiasm, we welcome any special focus’ or skills. At the moment we have a need for Ampthill-Flitwick leafleters: Volunteers are needed to deliver a trifold brochure to every house in Ampthill-Flitwick area over a period of time. You must be reliable and have a modicum of common sense to assess risk and take necessary precautions e.g. dress for the weather, don’t leaflet if wet and only leaflet in daylight hours. Brochures can be supplied in intermittent stints and handed over by mutual agreed times and places. Please contact us.