Cambridge will take around an hour and a quarter. There are also plans for the eastern section to link the network to East Anglia, and to improve the roads between the cities.
Fixing the poor connectivity across the region will unlock economic and housing growth, believe those behind the scheme.
“With stations along the Varsity Line, housebuyers will be able to move outside the normal conurbations and take advantage of a lower entry price point in comparison to city centres,” says Damian Gray of Knight Frank.
The Government’s ambitious plan includes building five new “garden towns” in the corridor, and boosting development in areas such as central Bedfordshire, Aylesbury Vale and Bicester, which are along the route. The plan is in its very early stages, but for those looking to invest ahead of the developments, it would be wise to consider the countryside within easy distance of either Milton Keynes or Bedford, says Jonathan Bramwell of The Buying Solution.
“The market around Bicester has already come up considerably in value and there are some question marks as to how HS2 will affect the countryside beyond,” he adds.
“Looking to Milton Keynes or Bedford gives buyers the opportunity to commute east and west but also north and south.”
Frazer Arnott, of Haart in Bedford, points to the smaller villages of Marston Vale – Stewartby, Marston Moretaine and Lidlington – as places to look, while Ian Fraser of Fine & Country’s local office in Bedford suggests the well-served village of Biddenham, just two miles away from Bedford station. “The impact of the Varsity Line hasn’t really resonated with buyers yet,” adds Neil Abraham of JacksonStops in Woburn, just south of Milton Keynes.
“This area has always been known for its attractive villages including Woburn itself, Aspley Guise and the trio of villages collectively known as ‘the Brickhills’, which offer an easy commute to mainline stations Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard” – as well as the possible future east-west link at Bletchley. He is marketing a period two-bedroom apartment in Aspley Heath for £525,000. Perhaps it’s time to look beyond the varsity cities.
A flat in Aspley Heath with Jackson-Stops