LONG HANBOROUGH railway station could hold the key to unlocking West Oxfordshire’s traffic woes, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has claimed.

He said commuters could park at the station, which had its car park increased to 191 spaces last July, before using its rail network, rather than drive on the A40.

Speaking at the latest Connecting Oxfordshire event to discuss transport issues, held in Witney’s Henry Box School on Monday, he said removing just 15 per cent of cars from the road would alleviate congestion. The council is also lobbying Network Rail to connect the line between Long Hanborough and Oxford so its disused second platform could be reopened to increase the number of train services.

Mr Hudspeth said: “It’s a very good turn-up-and-go service in the morning. It can take just eight minutes to get into the centre of Oxford.

“We need to look at other modes of transport. The key message is about having a modal shift and I would urge people to just try using Hanborough station once to see the difference.”

More than 90 people attended the event and aired their views about various transport issues, including the large volume of HGVs passing through Chipping Norton, poor road surfaces in villages, creating better bus links to and from Carterton and problems with overcrowding on the new Go Ride bus service in Witney.

Mr Hudspeth said the council was open to ideas on improving traffic, including a monorail, dedicated bus lane, tram system, guided bus and dualling the A40.

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