It’s all change again at Oxford railway station

Oxford Mail: Oxford railway station, which is set for a huge redevelopment Oxford railway station, which is set for a huge redevelopment

PLANS for the multi-million pound redevelopment of Oxford’s railway station are set to be unveiled early this year.

This will bring to an end months of discussion over the future of the site off Frideswide Square which some hope will see it become an integrated “transport hub”.

Since early last year, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Network Rail have been working together to draw up a masterplan for the station and the surrounding area.

The new station will include extra platforms to accommodate extra services using the planned new links to London Marylebone and Milton Keynes via Bicester, in conjunction with the electrification and resignalling of the Oxford to London route via Didcot.

These projects are due to be operating by 2017.

A number of potential uses are being considered as part of the £70m redevelopment – including a new bus station – but there are plenty of different ideas about what should actually become reality.

Oxford Mail:

  • Work starting on the 1970s redevelopment

In April First Great Western said it would be supportive of anything which came out of the masterplan which made sure there were integrated transport links, while Network Rail appeared cooler on the issue.

Network Rail spokesman Dayle Sellars said the aspiration to create a “transport hub” would be wrapped up in the masterplan due to released soon.

County councillor Rodney Rose, deputy leader of transport authority Oxfordshire County Council, said: “My priority for the site is that people can get on and off trains, that they have somewhere to park their cars and bicycles and somewhere to catch the bus. Beyond that I am not so worried.

“We do need a proper hotel there but we need to be careful that we don’t build the site up so much that you cannot get bus, taxi or car infrastructure in there.”

Figures from the Office for Rail Regulation show that 6,227,018 used the station in 2011-2012 compared with 3,064,362 in 1997-1998 – a rise of 103 per cent.

Proposals to create an integrated transport hub in Oxford date back to the late 1940s, when the Great Western and London Midland & Scottish railways proposed a rebuilt station with a bus station alongside on land now occupied by Oxford University’s Said Business School, which was then the site of the LMS’s Rewley Road station.

More recently Oxford Civic Society has suggested moving the railway station south to Oxpens, near to where coaches already park.

But this has since been ruled out by Network Rail, which said the site was unsuitable for use as a station.

The area is set to be redeveloped for housing and offices instead.

Oxford Civic Society vice president Tony Joyce said: “Journeys consist of more than one part and there is the rail part but also what you do after you have arrived at the station and for that you need adequate integration between different modes of transport.

“The most obvious one is buses and this requires that there is a really full and proper bus hub at the station.

“Our anxiety has been that there is not really room to do this properly at the existing site.”

OTHER PROJECTS

  • Oxfordshire’s other rail projects in the pipeline are: s Network Rail is spending £1bn electrifying the Great Western main line from London to Bristol, and this will include Oxford and Didcot. It is anticipated that this will be completed by December 2016 and will make trains faster and quieter.
  • Funding for the East West rail link has been approved and the new line between Reading and Bedford, via Oxford and High Wycombe, is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. This will allow freight to travel via Oxford from Southampton up towards Manchester and talks are already taking place about extending it to Cambridge.
  • Chiltern Railways is already working on creating a new link between Oxford and London Marylebone, which will include a new station at Water Eaton called Oxford Parkway.

Comments (6)

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7:53pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Myron Blatz says...

Why not just compulsory-purchase the adjacent and conveniently located Saeed Business School - which already looks like a magnificent railway station, relocate the Saeed to the Town Hall, and relocate the Town Hall to Blackbird Leys - epicentre of Labour-led Oxford City Council's vision of the future?
Why not just compulsory-purchase the adjacent and conveniently located Saeed Business School - which already looks like a magnificent railway station, relocate the Saeed to the Town Hall, and relocate the Town Hall to Blackbird Leys - epicentre of Labour-led Oxford City Council's vision of the future? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -113

7:59pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Bon Rurgundy says...

Slow news day? This story is about as old as that photo you've dug up.
Slow news day? This story is about as old as that photo you've dug up. Bon Rurgundy
  • Score: -78

8:02am Tue 7 Jan 14

King Joke says...

Not actually a bad plan Myron. Said is a fair way from the platforms though.
Not actually a bad plan Myron. Said is a fair way from the platforms though. King Joke
  • Score: -2

1:26pm Tue 7 Jan 14

EMBOX2 says...

Like the new Westgate, this is a chance to do something special and make a dent in Oxford's chronic congestion problem. Integrating the buses (coaches too) and trains would make a big difference - getting rid of Glos Green, having all coaches start/end at the station would help.

OCC: Please don't muck this one up - it is too important to go wrong!

Frideswide Sq - remove the lights and replace with a roundabout or two. This junction always works best when the lights fail.
Like the new Westgate, this is a chance to do something special and make a dent in Oxford's chronic congestion problem. Integrating the buses (coaches too) and trains would make a big difference - getting rid of Glos Green, having all coaches start/end at the station would help. OCC: Please don't muck this one up - it is too important to go wrong! Frideswide Sq - remove the lights and replace with a roundabout or two. This junction always works best when the lights fail. EMBOX2
  • Score: -108

10:46am Thu 9 Jan 14

IanEast says...

When you walk from city to station you're forced to cross EIGHT LANES of heavy traffic. Cyclists have virtually no provision at all, making it equally unpleasant and dangerous.
In a sane world, both walking and cycling would be pleasant, safe and properly signed and separated.
Buses are the blight and poison of Oxford. What is desperately needed is a light-electric rail system for longer journeys, replacing buses and eliminating all their pollution. Yes, it's expensive, but so are air pollution and accidents. If the can do it all over the continent, why not here.
But I expect nothing. We'll remain 50 years behind, and with the local authority kow-towing to bus companies, while we tax payers pay to rebuild the roads they repeatedly destroy.
When you walk from city to station you're forced to cross EIGHT LANES of heavy traffic. Cyclists have virtually no provision at all, making it equally unpleasant and dangerous. In a sane world, both walking and cycling would be pleasant, safe and properly signed and separated. Buses are the blight and poison of Oxford. What is desperately needed is a light-electric rail system for longer journeys, replacing buses and eliminating all their pollution. Yes, it's expensive, but so are air pollution and accidents. If the can do it all over the continent, why not here. But I expect nothing. We'll remain 50 years behind, and with the local authority kow-towing to bus companies, while we tax payers pay to rebuild the roads they repeatedly destroy. IanEast
  • Score: 0

10:58am Thu 9 Jan 14

King Joke says...

Ian, what an idiotic comment. I fail to see how a few hundred buses a day are a 'blight' when compared with the 30k/day vehicles a busy urban road has to tolerate. You have also missed the news that we are now in an LEZ and the Oxford bus fleet is among the cleanest in the country. If most of the people transferred from their singly-occupied cars onto the bus the eight lanes you have to cross would be half empty.

Of course we need a light rail system but this best replaces the high-frequency bus routes, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9 etc before extending to places like Witney. It will never, ever replace services like the 11, 17, 25 to villages and estates who appreciate their direct route into the city without being made to change onto light rail somewhere.
Ian, what an idiotic comment. I fail to see how a few hundred buses a day are a 'blight' when compared with the 30k/day vehicles a busy urban road has to tolerate. You have also missed the news that we are now in an LEZ and the Oxford bus fleet is among the cleanest in the country. If most of the people transferred from their singly-occupied cars onto the bus the eight lanes you have to cross would be half empty. Of course we need a light rail system but this best replaces the high-frequency bus routes, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9 etc before extending to places like Witney. It will never, ever replace services like the 11, 17, 25 to villages and estates who appreciate their direct route into the city without being made to change onto light rail somewhere. King Joke
  • Score: 2

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