Railway will create 12,000 jobs

The new route Credit: ITV Meridian

It will cost £350 million pounds and create twelve thousand jobs - an ambitious plan to re-open an important rail link passing through parts of the Thames Valley and the Chiltern Hills has been announced today.

It will be created using sections of closed track and existing freight lines to allow direct trains from Reading and Oxford to run to Milton Keynes and Bedford. It will also link into the Southampton and Great Western mainlines.

But unlike the controversial HS2 project, this scheme has local support and financial backing.