Didcot Parkway costs rise after asbestos discovered

ASBESTOS FOUND: The work continues at Didcot Parkway

ASBESTOS FOUND: The work continues at Didcot Parkway

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

OXFORDSHIRE County Council will have to spend an extra £1.3m on redeveloping the Didcot Parkway forecourt after workmen discovered buried asbestos.

Together with unexpected poor ground conditions, it has led to the cost of the scheme rising to more than £8m.

A planned covered walkway has been removed from the project because it was not deliverable, as designed, within budget.

That decision means South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) is holding back £375,000, which has driven the cost up even further.

Demolition work on the forecourt redevelopment – initially priced at £6.7m – started in April 2012.

The transport hub is being reorganised to make it safer for cars, buses, cyclists, taxis and pedestrians to use.

A report to the county council’s cabinet meeting today asked councillors to agree £1.74m of additional funding from their “corporate capital programme contingencies”.

It added a new revised covered walkway will be proposed at a later date, along with a funding agreement for it with SODC.

Didcot Parkway is Oxfordshire’s second busiest station, with 2.8m passengers using it in 2012/13 – compared to Oxford which had 6.3m.

The station is owned by Network Rail and run by First Great Western but the county council is the highways authority, responsible for maintaining and upgrading Oxfordshire’s roads and it has put up most of the scheme’s funding.

Work inside the station, such as the renovation of the ticket office, was done by First Great Western and Network Rail.

Di Chesterman, chairman of Didcot Chamber of Commerce, said she is hoping the work is finished as soon as possible.

She said: “Obviously it is one of the major arrival points in Didcot and we are keen to see it finished. It has been a work in progress for so long now.”

“It will make Didcot a much more attractive shopping proposition for the surrounding villages that have access to us by train but at the moment the chaos surrounding the forecourt is a little off-putting.”

The county council was asked how much asbestos had been found, what type it was and where it had come from but did not comment.

First Great Western, which runs the station, declined to comment saying the contract is the county council’s.

A spokesman for SODC said: “As part of normal procedures, we have to review any changes to the plans, including the relevant new costs, materials and designs.

“We see no reason why the new plans won’t be suitable to receive previously committed funding, but it's necessary and prudent to check.”

Despite the asbestos find, the project is on schedule to be completed by late autumn this year.

Our top stories:

Routes out of Oxford becoming heavily congested as rush hour kicks in

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

5:02pm Wednesday 6th May 2015

DRIVERS are experiencing heavy delays on the roads leaving Oxford, with many stuck in standstill traffic.

Four people arrested after man's eye socket fractured in Bicester attack

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

1:49pm Wednesday 6th May 2015

FOUR people have been arrested after a man was left with a fractured eye socket after an attack in Bicester.

150 people in Oxford West and Abingdon issued with 'replacement postal ballots'

Oxford Mail: Postal voting should be restricted to cut down on fraud, an MP has said

11:52am Wednesday 6th May 2015

THE number of voters who reported not receiving postal ballots in Oxford West and Abingdon has risen to 150.

Oxford's iconic Randolph Hotel re-opens less than a month since huge fire

Oxford Mail:

10:51am Wednesday 6th May 2015

The five-star Randolph hotel damaged by a major fire last month has re-opened.

Oxford West & Abingdon postal ballot sheets still missing on eve of election

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

POSTAL voters were yesterday still waiting for their ballot papers less than 48 hours before polling opens in the General Election.

Scything becomes a hot topic after topless Poldark TV scene

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 6th May 2015

THERE’S no escaping it – scything is big this summer.

Family remembers England rugby great Ronald Palmer who died in trenches

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

THE family of a former England rugby captain gathered yesterday to mark 100 years since he died in the trenches during the First World War.

Charity trekker lucky to be alive after near-miss in Nepal earthquake

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

FORMER nurse Angela Rowlands is back home and lucky to be alive after getting caught up in the Nepal earthquake.

Pilgrim trail marks latest milestone on crash victim's long road to recover

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 6th May 2015

IN AUGUST 2004, James Bastin was hit by a car in Oxford and suffered serious brain injuries.

Volleyball club lands in a row over beach courts plan for Cutteslowe Park

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

PLANS have been put forward to build Oxfordshire’s first two beach volleyball courts in Cutteslowe Park.

Man trapped under fallen tree in Minster Lovell

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

5:00pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A MAN trapped under a fallen tree was taken to hospital after being rescued by fire crews this morning.

Harcourt Arboretum closes after gusts of more than 40mph forecast

Oxford Mail:

2:49pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

HARCOURT Arboretum should be open tomorrow after closing today because of strong winds.

Missing 15-year-old Elizabeth Skevington could be in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

2:24pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A GIRL missing from Milton Keynes could be in the Oxford area, police said.

Land Rover stolen from Witney spotted heading towards Swindon

Oxford Mail:

11:14am Tuesday 5th May 2015

POLICE have released images of a stolen Land Rover almost two months after it was taken.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:10pm Tue 17 Jun 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Why is the council having to pay to revamp Network Rail's station?
Why is the council having to pay to revamp Network Rail's station? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree