Plans by Chiltern Railways to develop a new Oxford to London rail route have attracted strong support at three public exhibitions in Bicester, Oxford and Kidlington.
More than 90% of visitors at the exhibitions, held between 17 and 25 April, expressed their overall support for the scheme which is being designed to operate two Oxford to London Marylebone trains an hour from 2013.
The new route will be created by upgrading the existing route between Oxford and Bicester Town and building a short connecting line south east of Bicester, linking the Oxford to Bicester and London Marylebone and Birmingham lines. Existing track will be upgraded and new signalling and safety systems will be installed and level crossings replaced, upgraded or closed according to local circumstances. Two additional platforms will be provided at Oxford station and the existing stations at Bicester Town and Islip will be rebuilt. A new station will be constructed adjacent to the existing Water Eaton bus park-and-rude site to serve Kidlington and North Oxford.
Chiltern Railways has been consulting with members of the public and other special interest groups and statutory bodies prior to submitting a Transport and Works application to the Secretary of State later this year.
“We are very pleased with the feedback we have been getting as part of what has been a major consultation exercise. Comments and detailed submissions are being taken into account as we seek to develop the best possible scheme for local communities and the travelling public,” said Chiltern Railways chairman Adrian Shooter.
A number of the specific issues raised at the exhibitions and as part of the wider consultation are being addressed as part of a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment which is being led by consultant ERM and will form part of an Environmental Statement, to be submitted as part of the planning application.