Walk draws line on travel option

Transport group committee member Nigel Rose, front, and walkers ready to set out along the old railway from South Leigh

Transport group committee member Nigel Rose, front, and walkers ready to set out along the old railway from South Leigh Buy this photo

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CAMPAIGNERS for better transport links for West Oxfordshire walked along part of the former Witney railway branch line to highlight their campaign.

The Witney Oxford Transport Group arranged the walk on Saturday along a mile of the former railway trackbed, near South Leigh.

The group has held talks with Oxfordshire County Council, asking it to look at sustainable ways of improving links between the district and Oxford, rather than focusing on changes to the A40 road.

They also want the council to update a report it commissioned in 2001 into the feasibility and possible costs of reopening the railway.   

Maurizio Fantato, a member of the group’s committee, who lives in Bampton, said: “We’re trying to create awareness for having a public transport alternative, because the problems are putting a stranglehold on the economy of the district.

“We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution, because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much. We’re pushing for a consultation by the council that would look at the alternatives.

“It needs to be a proper assessment, that takes into account the number and demographics of the houses to be built in the area.”

The group says possible options could include using parts of the former railway route between Witney and Oxford for trams or a guided busway system.

Mr Fantato added: “The point is trying to find a few thousand pounds that are required for the report to be updated.”

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Comments (10)

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10:05am Wed 18 Jun 14

DEnright says...

Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.
Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study. DEnright
  • Score: 2

12:07pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

DEnright wrote:
Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used .

Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year.

Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond.

Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP...
[quote][p][bold]DEnright[/bold] wrote: Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.[/p][/quote]It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used . Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year. Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond. Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Wed 18 Jun 14

icba1957 says...

Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much."

Twice as much as what???

Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it!

That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.
Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much." Twice as much as what??? Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it! That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself. icba1957
  • Score: -1

1:25pm Wed 18 Jun 14

King Joke says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
DEnright wrote:
Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used .

Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year.

Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond.

Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP...
You are having a bubble bath aren't you? Many of the improvements up there were commenced before the current SNP adminstration came in. The SNP have actually put north of a billion into a new Forth Road Bridge which will do nothing for PT. Then they are forcing through the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and dualling the A9, both of which will generate much more high-speed car traffic and undermine the excellent inter-urban bus network. Not everywhere in Scotland will ever be on the rail network owing to the topography so Citylink/Megabus fulfil a vital rail feeder role. THe SNP are a motorists' party first and foremost and I wouldn't trust them to continue developing either the rail or bus networks once current improvments are complete.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DEnright[/bold] wrote: Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.[/p][/quote]It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used . Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year. Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond. Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP...[/p][/quote]You are having a bubble bath aren't you? Many of the improvements up there were commenced before the current SNP adminstration came in. The SNP have actually put north of a billion into a new Forth Road Bridge which will do nothing for PT. Then they are forcing through the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and dualling the A9, both of which will generate much more high-speed car traffic and undermine the excellent inter-urban bus network. Not everywhere in Scotland will ever be on the rail network owing to the topography so Citylink/Megabus fulfil a vital rail feeder role. THe SNP are a motorists' party first and foremost and I wouldn't trust them to continue developing either the rail or bus networks once current improvments are complete. King Joke
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Wed 18 Jun 14

King Joke says...

icba1957 wrote:
Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much."

Twice as much as what???

Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it!

That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.
Development over the formation, not least at Witney Station, is not a problem if you use a tram-train solution which can just divert to street running where necessary.
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much." Twice as much as what??? Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it! That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.[/p][/quote]Development over the formation, not least at Witney Station, is not a problem if you use a tram-train solution which can just divert to street running where necessary. King Joke
  • Score: 2

9:46pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

icba1957 wrote:
Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much."

Twice as much as what???

Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it!

That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.
It is a popular misconception amongst rail enthusiasts that a re-opened line has to follow the exact path of the dismantled legacy line.

Whilst there is a certain convenience in using elements of a legacy route, it is not a legal requirement.
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much." Twice as much as what??? Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it! That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.[/p][/quote]It is a popular misconception amongst rail enthusiasts that a re-opened line has to follow the exact path of the dismantled legacy line. Whilst there is a certain convenience in using elements of a legacy route, it is not a legal requirement. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

9:55pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
DEnright wrote:
Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used .

Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year.

Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond.

Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP...
You are having a bubble bath aren't you? Many of the improvements up there were commenced before the current SNP adminstration came in. The SNP have actually put north of a billion into a new Forth Road Bridge which will do nothing for PT. Then they are forcing through the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and dualling the A9, both of which will generate much more high-speed car traffic and undermine the excellent inter-urban bus network. Not everywhere in Scotland will ever be on the rail network owing to the topography so Citylink/Megabus fulfil a vital rail feeder role. THe SNP are a motorists' party first and foremost and I wouldn't trust them to continue developing either the rail or bus networks once current improvments are complete.
I suspect dualling the A9 to permit LGVs to operate above 40mph will be helpful in the provison of a swifter and more reliable coach timetable. It's a road I know very well.

The HML does need improvements though - at the moment it's easier to get to London before 9am than Edinburgh. On a Sunday the earliest service doesn't get to Edinburgh until after 1pm

The anti-Aberdeen bypass campaign was orchestrated by a bloke who lives in Newcastle.

Wee 'Eck has expressed interest in extending Borders Rail to Newcastle...
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DEnright[/bold] wrote: Thanks to the organisers for a fun walk through the undergrowth! It is clear that the old rail line offers more options for reducing congestion on the A40. We need to get action on this as soon as possible, and I hope the County honour their promise to fund an update of the feasibility study.[/p][/quote]It doesn't take a genius to work out that a line (of whichever variety) that ran from Carerton/Witney to Oxford would be very well used . Just take a look at Alloa for example. This re-opened route to a single station in a town of 18,000 people is used by around 400,000 passengers a year. Witney is larger and it would have stops at Carterton and Eynsham too and the obvious option of a large park & ride of the A40. So you are starting with a potential usage of around 800,000 passenger journeys a year into Oxford or beyond. Perhaps if the people of Oxfordshire really want public transport infrastructure improvements - they will have to start voting SNP...[/p][/quote]You are having a bubble bath aren't you? Many of the improvements up there were commenced before the current SNP adminstration came in. The SNP have actually put north of a billion into a new Forth Road Bridge which will do nothing for PT. Then they are forcing through the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and dualling the A9, both of which will generate much more high-speed car traffic and undermine the excellent inter-urban bus network. Not everywhere in Scotland will ever be on the rail network owing to the topography so Citylink/Megabus fulfil a vital rail feeder role. THe SNP are a motorists' party first and foremost and I wouldn't trust them to continue developing either the rail or bus networks once current improvments are complete.[/p][/quote]I suspect dualling the A9 to permit LGVs to operate above 40mph will be helpful in the provison of a swifter and more reliable coach timetable. It's a road I know very well. The HML does need improvements though - at the moment it's easier to get to London before 9am than Edinburgh. On a Sunday the earliest service doesn't get to Edinburgh until after 1pm The anti-Aberdeen bypass campaign was orchestrated by a bloke who lives in Newcastle. Wee 'Eck has expressed interest in extending Borders Rail to Newcastle... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

6:56am Thu 19 Jun 14

King Joke says...

There is no need to spend £3bn dualling the A9, as Fishy Salmond is doing, to allow HGVs to travel at 50 mph - just change the speed limit.

You misunderstand how the 'coach' network in Scotland operates. It's actually more like an interurban bus network, and works well precisely because the road network is less motorway-intensive than in England, and trunk roads penetrate areas of population much more closely.

The fact the SNP is not dualling or speeding up the Highland Main Line tells you all about where their priorities lie.
There is no need to spend £3bn dualling the A9, as Fishy Salmond is doing, to allow HGVs to travel at 50 mph - just change the speed limit. You misunderstand how the 'coach' network in Scotland operates. It's actually more like an interurban bus network, and works well precisely because the road network is less motorway-intensive than in England, and trunk roads penetrate areas of population much more closely. The fact the SNP is not dualling or speeding up the Highland Main Line tells you all about where their priorities lie. King Joke
  • Score: 0

9:55am Thu 19 Jun 14

Hugh Jaeger says...

icba1957 wrote:
Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much."

Twice as much as what???

Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it!

That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.
Maurizio means dualling would cost twice as much as a rapid transit. The old trackbed covers eight miles from Yarnton to Witney and most of it is unobstructed. At Eynsham the trading estate & B4449 occupy only just over 1/2 a mile; a new transit line would simply parallel them a few yards to the north or south.

The A40 Witney Bypass embankment is too low for heavy rail to pass underneath, but trams or tram-trains could dive underneath as they can take much steeper gradients. Most trains struggle on any gradient steeper than about 1 in 70. Trams climb 1 in 10 easily, and steeper if they really have to.

The fact that supporters walked only one of the eight miles is not evidence against reopening the route. The old trackbed is not a public right of way and this mile was walked because the landowner supports a rapid transit. And because the line has been closed for 34 years it is overgrown: big deal!

A40 congestion is an acute and chronic problem. The first step to solving it is being positive, not adopting an "it can't be done" attitude.
http://witneyoxfordt
ransport.wordpress.c
om/
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: Committee member Maurizio Fantato, who lives in Bampton, said: “We don’t believe that dualling the A40 will be a solution because there will always be bottlenecks on it. It would also cost twice as much." Twice as much as what??? Fact is, the line has been built on at several locations, so simply re-opening it is not an option. Any other scheme would cost a fortune, and the county council certainly doesn't have the money to fund it! That they only walked a mile of the line speaks volumes in itself.[/p][/quote]Maurizio means dualling would cost twice as much as a rapid transit. The old trackbed covers eight miles from Yarnton to Witney and most of it is unobstructed. At Eynsham the trading estate & B4449 occupy only just over 1/2 a mile; a new transit line would simply parallel them a few yards to the north or south. The A40 Witney Bypass embankment is too low for heavy rail to pass underneath, but trams or tram-trains could dive underneath as they can take much steeper gradients. Most trains struggle on any gradient steeper than about 1 in 70. Trams climb 1 in 10 easily, and steeper if they really have to. The fact that supporters walked only one of the eight miles is not evidence against reopening the route. The old trackbed is not a public right of way and this mile was walked because the landowner supports a rapid transit. And because the line has been closed for 34 years it is overgrown: big deal! A40 congestion is an acute and chronic problem. The first step to solving it is being positive, not adopting an "it can't be done" attitude. http://witneyoxfordt ransport.wordpress.c om/ Hugh Jaeger
  • Score: 0

10:01am Thu 19 Jun 14

King Joke says...

If it were cheaper than building a new formation you could run 'on street' along the Eynsham bypass, I've never seen another vehicle on it so there is easily capacity to run trams without delaying them.
If it were cheaper than building a new formation you could run 'on street' along the Eynsham bypass, I've never seen another vehicle on it so there is easily capacity to run trams without delaying them. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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