THE future of Oxford’s train station is being unveiled today and has been hailed as a big step towards the city getting the integrated transport hub it needs.
Details of the £75m scheme have been released by Oxford City Council and reveal the new station will tower over Botley Road bridge, which is being widened for the development.
Areas have been earmarked for new flats and apartments while shops, office space and a hotel could be included in the final project.
A transport terminal will be built across from the station between Botley Road and Becket Street – where the long-stay car-park is currently.
It will include a new bus station, multi-storey car-park and cycle racks.
The station will be bulldozed to make way for a new one which will run parallel to Botley Road, where the station’s current cycle racks are, and face on to Frideswide Square. Part of Botley Road will be lowered for the new bridge.
Land to the north of the new station, which will stretch from where the current short-stay car-park is, could be used for office space, a hotel or an expansion of the Said Business School, including student accommodation.
In September the county council will begin its £5.5m redevelopment of Frideswide Square, which will see a boulevard created with three roundabouts and increased public space, with work due to be completed by December 2015.
Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, said the new station building would be around 80 per cent bigger than the current one and would include an array of shops.
He also said that the creation of a bus station on the site creates the potential to move the city’s bus services to London and its airports there from Gloucester Green.
Mr Price said: “This is a vision for the development of a landmark gateway into the city.”
But he said he has concerns about the timescale of the development.
The number of passengers using Oxford station has been increasing every year, with 6.3 million passing through it in 2012/13 compared to 4.7 million in 2007/08.
Oxford Civic Society has long campaigned for a transport interchange to be included at the station, suggesting that the entire station be moved further south to Oxpens to accommodate it.
The civic society’s chairman Peter Thompson said: “We have significant reservations about whether there is the width available to integrate a proper transport hub in the manner that is done absolutely routinely in cities across Europe, that’s why we have been asking for the option to move the station further south to be considered.”
Network Rail has said that moving the station to Oxpens would bring no benefits and that it would be too expensive.
An architectural competition will now take place to determine the design of the station building and a public consultation will be held at the Westgate Centre exhibition suite on August 1-2.
Work on the development could start in 2017 and be finished by 2019.
A new station building with more shops
A transport interchange – including bus station and multi-storey car park
A third platform and new rail tracks
Improvements to the Botley Road rail bridge
New commercial development which could be used for a hotel, offices, retail space or for an expansion to the Said Business School
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