Prime minister Liz Truss has called for the building of the East-West Rail link between Oxford and Cambridge to be speeded up.

"One of the issues we've got, and one of the reasons for our sluggish economic growth as a country, is we're not getting these things built fast enough," Ms Truss said in an interview with BBC Look East's Janine Machin.

"What I will be doing is making sure we're accelerating important projects."

Julia Virdee, from Bedford's Protect Poets group, which opposes the scheme, asked her: "Where will the funding come from given the current economic situation?"

Ms Truss said her Government would be "laying out the detail in due course".

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The first section to upgrade the railway between Oxford and Bicester was completed in 2016.

Work began on the second phase of the £5 billion rail project, from Bicester to Bletchley, in 2020 with trains between Oxford and Milton Keynes, near Bletchley, due to start by the end of 2024.

It will allow Oxfordshire residents to travel directly by train to Milton Keynes for the first time since the late 1960s, when services were axed.

The last two sections from Bletchley to Bedford and from Bedford to Cambridge still require planning permission.

When he stood for the Tory leadership, the former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he would axe latter stages of the project.



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