PLANS for Oxford’s new railway station have still not been agreed, with council bosses concerned it will be a “functional ticket office” instead of “a great gateway”.
Last year, the Office of Rail Regulation approved Network Rail’s scheme to redevelop the station by 2019.
But it is now 13 months since it appointed architectural consultants Aedas to draw up a masterplan for the station and surrounding area.
The company had previously indicated that this would be completed towards the end of last year.
However, county council leader Ian Hudspeth said he was pushing for a more ambitious plan than he had seen outlined so far.
Mr Hudspeth said: “Network Rail effectively are looking at a functional ticket office but we and the city council want something that’s in keeping with Oxfordshire.
“We want it to be seen as a great gateway into Oxford.
“The main things for us are whether you are going to be able to see into Frideswide Square when you arrive.
“Are there going to be good retail facilities? Will we have a fully- integrated bus terminus there?
- The existing station
“Network Rail obviously have a budget, but we are asking them to be a bit more flexible.”The station’s redevelopment will see the Botley Road bridge replaced and an extra platform build ahead of a Chiltern Railways link to London Marylebone from 2016.
City council leader Bob Price, below, said the number of bodies involved had made the process slower.
He said: “There are a lot of different demands on the site.
“There are a lot of hotel operators who are keen on having a space there, there is a desire on the part of the Said Business School to expand and there is the need from Network Rail to have a good car park.
“We are getting very close to some kind of public announcement but when you bring together the group of different interests in the scheme things can take a long time.”
Network Rail spokesman Anne-Marie Batson declined to comment on whether plans for the scheme were originally intended to be unveiled last year.
She said: “The parties involved in the redevelopment of Oxford's station and the surrounding area are still in the early stages of negotiation as to the actual design.
“In other parts of the country, notably Reading and Birmingham, Network Rail has formed close partnerships with train operators and local authorities when renovating stations.
“We strive at all times to create stations which are destinations in themselves as well as reflecting the best of their local environment, and this will be our goal in Oxford.”
First Great Western, which runs the station, said large projects generally take a long time to agree but that it supports Mr Hudspeth’s plans.
Spokesman James Davis said: “We are still in the early stages of this significant project, and things are progressing well.
“First Great Western, Network Rail and Oxfordshire County Council are working together with the city council in support of building a great gateway to Oxford.
“We are keen to provide a greater customer experience and capacity at the station.”
The Said Business School did not respond to a request to comment on its plans.
Our top stories:
UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak
11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.
9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.
1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.
12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015
WILD boar have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.
8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015
A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.
8:53am Saturday 25th April 2015
CYBER crime in Oxford is becoming so prevalent it is replacing traditional thefts, a police chief has said.
8:47am Saturday 25th April 2015
HUNDREDS of experienced postmasters will be lost as part of changes to our post offices, a union secretary has warned.
8:41am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAJOR clean-up is under way to smarten up Oxford’s Gloucester Green bus station.
Kidlington man to lay wreath at Cenotaph to recognise Grandfather and Great-Uncle's Gallipoli sacrifice
8:33am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE HUNDRED years ago Robin Atherton’s grandfather went into battle along with his twin brother – but only one of them survived the day.
8:30am Friday 24th April 2015
A BEDBLOCKING crisis in the county has forced health bosses to launch a week-long blitz.
7:07pm Friday 24th April 2015
POLICE officers have tonight returned to a house in Cowley after two arrests were made in the Barton murder investigations.
4:11pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MAN has been arrested after a woman was attacked at a house in Bicester.
3:19pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MISSING parrot has been found in Wallingford following a police appeal.
2:46pm Friday 24th April 2015
TRAINS are delayed between Oxford, London Paddington, Reading and Swindon after a vehicle struck a bridge at Pangbourne.