Railway station’s £75m masterplan is unveiled

Jacqui Thorndike chats with Louise O’Hanlon of the regeneration team

Buy this photo Jacqui Thorndike chats with Louise O’Hanlon of the regeneration team

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

DESIGNS for the £75m redevelopment of Oxford Station could be unveiled later this year.

And people can now comment on the masterplan to help set out what the new station should look like.

Network Rail, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and First Great Western have drawn up a masterplan for completely redeveloping the site in the next five years.

A public consultation into the masterplan started yesterday with an event in the Westgate Centre which will continue today.

Dozens of people filed into an empty store in the shopping entre to look at images of the proposed new station and watch a video of what the site could look like.

Council officers involved in the scheme were on hand to explain the masterplan and help people submit their comments.

In the autumn, an architectural competition will be held to find a design for the new station.

Fiona Piercy, partnerships and regeneration manager at the city council, said: “When we write the brief for that we will look at what people have told us and factor that into it.

“People can send us information throughout August.

“I think most people acknowledge that it is a fantastic opportunity for Oxford and the people I have spoken to today have been generally very positive.”

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The masterplan will include a new bus terminus, hotel, shops and a multi-storey car park off Becket Street, The existing station building would be demolished and replaced by a new three-storey building which would face out on to Frideswide Square.

A total of £75m would be spent on the scheme, with council bosses saying that £50m needs to be raised to actually get the scheme off the ground.

This is expected to come from the councils, train operating companies, Network Rail and other private investment.

Risinghurst resident Richard Duployen, 66, was one of the people who attended the first day of the public consultation yesterday.

He said: “I think the station certainly needs to be improved, I am just not very satisfied with the designs at the moment.

“Oxford is a historic city and I think some elements of the architecture in the city should be incorporated into the station.”

East Oxford resident Jacqui Thorndyke, 35, said: “I think it looks really impressive and it looks like the sort of place you would want to go, rather than have to go.

“The current station is practical but the new one looks more modern.”

VIEWS

Oxford Mail:

  • Valerie Jordan

"It is high time that the station was improved. I am glad they are redeveloping the whole site rather than bits and pieces." Valerie Jordan, 58, Kidlington.

Oxford Mail:

  • Tim Treacher

"The station seems very small compared to all the commercial development. I just wonder if they have got it right." Tim Treacher, 75, Grandpont

Oxford Mail:

  • Lucinda McDonald

"Generally I am positive but it is going to be a complete nightmare traffic-wise while they are constructing it." Lucinda McDonald, 41, Dean Court.

Oxford Mail:

  • John Hubbard

"I think it will be a great improvement and it has got to be done. When you come to Oxford Station you notice it is shabby." John Hubbard, 72, Abingdon.

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