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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

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