Mind the gap... there’s a £50m shortfall in funding + video that flies over and through the scheme

From left, Mike Hogg, First Great Western, David Sexton, Department for Transport; Simon Maple, Network Rail; Cllr Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council; and Cllr Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council. Picture OX68831 David Fleming

From left, Mike Hogg, First Great Western, David Sexton, Department for Transport; Simon Maple, Network Rail; Cllr Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council; and Cllr Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council. Picture OX68831 David Fleming Buy this photo

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

A £50m funding gap in the Oxford Railway Station redevelopment is “bridgeable”, council bosses have said.

They were speaking as the masterplan for the £75m development was formally unveiled yesterday at the Said Business School.

Funding is already in place for the improvements to the rail infrastructure and the missing cash would be spent on new buildings. Yesterday the Oxford Mail revealed the masterplan would include a new bus terminus, hotel, shops and a multi-storey car park off Becket Street.

The existing station building would be demolished and replaced by a new three-storey building which would face out on to Frideswide Square.

City council leader Bob Price said the gap is “not unbridgeable.”

“I think it will come from a combination of sources, such as from the operators themselves, because for them this is a huge economic opportunity. It could also come from the way in which the retail is sold, so you can fund it through borrowing and get the money back over a period of time.”

Work on the station would start in 2017 and end in 2019.

An architectural competition will now take place to find out what the buildings should actually look like – with the result expected in the spring.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said they would need to know how much money was available by the time detailed designs were being drawn up.

He said: “If we don’t get the full funding then the aspiration of the scheme might have to be revisited. Obviously, we have got the funding from Network Rail for the transport side of it and we are going to do some work in kind.

“One of the big parts will be the private sector, and the more retail included in the design the better.”

A transport terminal will be built off Botley Road and Becket Street, where the long-stay car-park currently is.

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, to run parallel to Botley Road, where the station’s current cycle racks are.

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.

The development will help the station cope with the expected passenger growthdue to the new London Marylebone line and the East West rail link between Reading and Milton Keynes.

The project is expected to cost £75m and is currently unfunded, but £25m could come from the development value of the site, leaving a net cost of around £50m.

David Sexton, of the Department for Transport, said: “Oxford sits at the hub of all these developments and it has a very exciting future. We are going to have more train passengers, there is no doubt about that, and we think we will see greater growth at Oxford than many parts of the country.”

Finding the revenue

Network Rail has set aside £110m for railway improvements in the area.

The station redevelopment will cost £75m and is completely unfunded. Having the development value gives authorities the basis to take out a loan.

It is estimated that the development will recoup £25m from features such as retail and housing.

This could be either from selling off parts once it is built or renting units out.

That leaves a net amount of £50m to find.

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Comments (8)

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8:03am Fri 25 Jul 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It won't be *that* hard to fund it.

Part of the solution would be for the councils to permit Network Rail to build a multi-storey car park that is larger than required to accommodate rail users (plus growth).

500 spaces available for general use at £15 per day would be enough to service around £25M worth of debt amortised over 20-25 years.

There is less opportunity for lobbyists to whine about the traffic implications now that one of the biggest pinchpoints in traffic flow will be opened up - and those parking cars are unlikely to be going any futher than the station into Central Oxford anyway.
It won't be *that* hard to fund it. Part of the solution would be for the councils to permit Network Rail to build a multi-storey car park that is larger than required to accommodate rail users (plus growth). 500 spaces available for general use at £15 per day would be enough to service around £25M worth of debt amortised over 20-25 years. There is less opportunity for lobbyists to whine about the traffic implications now that one of the biggest pinchpoints in traffic flow will be opened up - and those parking cars are unlikely to be going any futher than the station into Central Oxford anyway. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

9:02am Fri 25 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Instead of building another feckin hotel, why don't they build a decent sized theatre/music venue, that will bring in funding from one of the major promoters, perhaps O2
Instead of building another feckin hotel, why don't they build a decent sized theatre/music venue, that will bring in funding from one of the major promoters, perhaps O2 Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

11:00am Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
It won't be *that* hard to fund it.

Part of the solution would be for the councils to permit Network Rail to build a multi-storey car park that is larger than required to accommodate rail users (plus growth).

500 spaces available for general use at £15 per day would be enough to service around £25M worth of debt amortised over 20-25 years.

There is less opportunity for lobbyists to whine about the traffic implications now that one of the biggest pinchpoints in traffic flow will be opened up - and those parking cars are unlikely to be going any futher than the station into Central Oxford anyway.
So let's put more traffic on the Botley Rd, Beaumont St and the Oxpens Road and stuff up local bus services even more. What an utterly, totally siht idea Andrew.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: It won't be *that* hard to fund it. Part of the solution would be for the councils to permit Network Rail to build a multi-storey car park that is larger than required to accommodate rail users (plus growth). 500 spaces available for general use at £15 per day would be enough to service around £25M worth of debt amortised over 20-25 years. There is less opportunity for lobbyists to whine about the traffic implications now that one of the biggest pinchpoints in traffic flow will be opened up - and those parking cars are unlikely to be going any futher than the station into Central Oxford anyway.[/p][/quote]So let's put more traffic on the Botley Rd, Beaumont St and the Oxpens Road and stuff up local bus services even more. What an utterly, totally siht idea Andrew. King Joke
  • Score: 0

11:03am Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

THere is a flaw in the video - it assumes Frideswide Sq, the Business School and the current Platform 1 are at the same level. They are not, which is why there is currently a slope up to the ticket hall and PLatform 1.

There will still have to be a slope.
THere is a flaw in the video - it assumes Frideswide Sq, the Business School and the current Platform 1 are at the same level. They are not, which is why there is currently a slope up to the ticket hall and PLatform 1. There will still have to be a slope. King Joke
  • Score: 0

11:30am Fri 25 Jul 14

icba1957 says...

Presumably the new bus station will allow the City to sell Gloucester Green. I'm sure they'll be happy to put that towards the new build.
Presumably the new bus station will allow the City to sell Gloucester Green. I'm sure they'll be happy to put that towards the new build. icba1957
  • Score: 0

11:36am Fri 25 Jul 14

King Joke says...

If GG is sold, long-distance coaches still need somewhere to pick up and drop off in the city centre even if they terminate/start at the station. The station is not in the city centre. With the major re-routings associated with the WEstgate there will be capacity on St Aldates east side. This would make a handy drop-off point for long-distance coaches coming FROM London or the airports, but we'll still need a pick-up point for services TO London. THere will simply be no room on Castle St or St Aldates West, maybe New Rd outside Nuffield College will do, the under-used stop currently used by the open-top tours?
If GG is sold, long-distance coaches still need somewhere to pick up and drop off in the city centre even if they terminate/start at the station. The station is not in the city centre. With the major re-routings associated with the WEstgate there will be capacity on St Aldates east side. This would make a handy drop-off point for long-distance coaches coming FROM London or the airports, but we'll still need a pick-up point for services TO London. THere will simply be no room on Castle St or St Aldates West, maybe New Rd outside Nuffield College will do, the under-used stop currently used by the open-top tours? King Joke
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Fri 25 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

King Joke wrote:
If GG is sold, long-distance coaches still need somewhere to pick up and drop off in the city centre even if they terminate/start at the station. The station is not in the city centre. With the major re-routings associated with the WEstgate there will be capacity on St Aldates east side. This would make a handy drop-off point for long-distance coaches coming FROM London or the airports, but we'll still need a pick-up point for services TO London. THere will simply be no room on Castle St or St Aldates West, maybe New Rd outside Nuffield College will do, the under-used stop currently used by the open-top tours?
Depends what area you consider the centre to be. GG is hardly a long distance from the station.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: If GG is sold, long-distance coaches still need somewhere to pick up and drop off in the city centre even if they terminate/start at the station. The station is not in the city centre. With the major re-routings associated with the WEstgate there will be capacity on St Aldates east side. This would make a handy drop-off point for long-distance coaches coming FROM London or the airports, but we'll still need a pick-up point for services TO London. THere will simply be no room on Castle St or St Aldates West, maybe New Rd outside Nuffield College will do, the under-used stop currently used by the open-top tours?[/p][/quote]Depends what area you consider the centre to be. GG is hardly a long distance from the station. mytaxes
  • Score: 1

7:53am Mon 28 Jul 14

King Joke says...

Yes but the railway station is a long walk from much of the city centre. It is not suitable as coach calling point purporting to serve the city centre.

Gloucester Green is rubbish and inadequate but its location is quite good for much of the city centre.
Yes but the railway station is a long walk from much of the city centre. It is not suitable as coach calling point purporting to serve the city centre. Gloucester Green is rubbish and inadequate but its location is quite good for much of the city centre. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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