COMMENT: Railway station plan is at last moving in the right direction

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First published in News

It’s a dismal sight that has greeted bands of brow-beaten commuters and excited tourists alike for decades.

To put it simply, Oxford’s only railway station has never matched aesthetically what this glorious city of dreaming spires has to offer.

It’s chaotic, out of date and a truly unwelcoming edifice which has looked more and more dog-eared as the years pass and as its gleaming neighbour, the Said Business School, has got more sophisticated.

However, the number of passengers using the station never dwindles and incredibly there are now more than six million people passing through it every year.

So it is fantastic news that the masterplan for a £75m redevelopment has now been unveiled.

The new station will straddle the railway line, provide shops, a hotel, business space, a multi-storey car park and most importantly a bus terminus.

There are still parts of the city that bus passengers cannot reach directly from the station and this is the perfect opportunity to properly integrate transport links.

Plans for a bus interchange are not new – it was first mooted in 1948. Still work looks set to start in 2017 and be complete in 2019.

Some will no doubt moan while the building work is taking place but this long overdue revamp will be a massive improvement, providing a proper gateway to the city.

The vision for Oxford station is still somewhat sketchy, but this masterplan does now appear to be heading in the right direction.

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