Residents air views on tram line debate

Residents air views on tram line debate

Residents air views on tram line debate

First published in Wantage Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

PLANS to introduce a tram line at the former Grove rail station sparked debate between Wantage and Grove residents.

More than 100 people turned out to voice their thoughts on Oxfordshire County Council plans to reopen Grove Station as a Light Railway line for trams or tram-like trains.

The Wantage Road station closed following the Beeching Report in the 1960s, and the council hopes that by running a Light Railway line alongside the main track, it will be able to connect the town to the rest of Oxfordshire.

Faringdon town councillor Alex Meredith said at the meeting on Wednesday: “I have been told by the Department of Transport that one of the main reasons Grove Station is still closed is that Oxfordshire County Council has not dedicated suitable resources to it.

“Network Rail seems to be the company that rules the transport in this area.

“People are getting really fed up with having companies like Network Rail overruling elected and democratic officials and being allowed to get away with it.”

The 33-year-old added: “We don’t see our county councillors pushing hard enough to get National Rail to do this.”

Engineer Stephen Radford, from Wantage, said: “If it’s going to run alongside the railway then unless they make the bridges big enough it won’t really work.”

Speaking at The Beacon, county council leader Ian Hudspeth denied that the council had abandoned plans to reopen the station.He said: “We’ve done our best to ensure the land for such a station remains preserved.

“But Network Rail are saying they don’t want trains stopping there because it would have too much of an effect on other trains along the network. We are reliant on the rail industry. We can carry on banging our heads against a brick wall, but we should also think about other options.

“We really need to try to find an alternative solution.”

Graham Banks from Uffington agreed. The 70-year-old said: “You can’t run a high-speed rail and stop every five minutes.

“Anyone who thinks they are going to get Grove Station open is in cuckoo land.’’ Network Rail spokeswoman Sam Kelly said: “Our funding for 2014-19 was confirmed by the regulator earlier this year and does not include funds for a new station at Wantage.

“However, a business case for this scheme could be developed by a third party. Any scheme would need to demonstrate a solid business case and represent good value for money.”

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Comments (5)

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5:25pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Gunslinger says...

The original station at Wantage Road had loops, so that faster trains could overtake trains stopping there, as did some (but not all) of the other stations between Didcot and Swindon. Evidently Network Rail need rather more than that.

It is all very well people saying the County Council should do this or do that, the issue is where the money is coming from to pay for it. Ian Hudspeth in my opinion is being highly irresponsible in 'promising' things that can and will never be delivered.

If you were going to build a tram route, it would in any case make more sense for it to go into the town rather than just stop at Wantage Road.
The original station at Wantage Road had loops, so that faster trains could overtake trains stopping there, as did some (but not all) of the other stations between Didcot and Swindon. Evidently Network Rail need rather more than that. It is all very well people saying the County Council should do this or do that, the issue is where the money is coming from to pay for it. Ian Hudspeth in my opinion is being highly irresponsible in 'promising' things that can and will never be delivered. If you were going to build a tram route, it would in any case make more sense for it to go into the town rather than just stop at Wantage Road. Gunslinger
  • Score: 3

11:28pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Myron Blatz says...

Can only be a matter of time before Grove Parish Council applies to either change parish to town status, and then become an independent fiefdom within the EU - though having now built upon most of the former airfield site, it will still have to use London Heathrow!
Can only be a matter of time before Grove Parish Council applies to either change parish to town status, and then become an independent fiefdom within the EU - though having now built upon most of the former airfield site, it will still have to use London Heathrow! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 1

3:40pm Sun 29 Jun 14

brucklay227 says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Can only be a matter of time before Grove Parish Council applies to either change parish to town status, and then become an independent fiefdom within the EU - though having now built upon most of the former airfield site, it will still have to use London Heathrow!
...and then they can twin themselves up with some nondescript little dump in Bulgaria or Romania and be good and obedient EU citizens. Bah!
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Can only be a matter of time before Grove Parish Council applies to either change parish to town status, and then become an independent fiefdom within the EU - though having now built upon most of the former airfield site, it will still have to use London Heathrow![/p][/quote]...and then they can twin themselves up with some nondescript little dump in Bulgaria or Romania and be good and obedient EU citizens. Bah! brucklay227
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Sun 29 Jun 14

osney terrier says...

There is plenty of capacity on this line,
Some years ago fgw ran a service from bristol to oxford and then withdrew it.
A reintroduction of this service wiith a stop at grove, would surely be possible.
The tram link from grove to wantage would then make sense.
There is plenty of capacity on this line, Some years ago fgw ran a service from bristol to oxford and then withdrew it. A reintroduction of this service wiith a stop at grove, would surely be possible. The tram link from grove to wantage would then make sense. osney terrier
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Mon 30 Jun 14

King Joke says...

osney terrier wrote:
There is plenty of capacity on this line,
Some years ago fgw ran a service from bristol to oxford and then withdrew it.
A reintroduction of this service wiith a stop at grove, would surely be possible.
The tram link from grove to wantage would then make sense.
THere is a big difference, in capacity terms, between running a service along a line and stopping at a station. From 2018 or thereabouts there will be four fast Bristols an hour, two more than there are now.

You'll need a few miles of loops to enable stopping trains to exit, and enter, the main lines at full speed which could in future years be 140 mph. THis is possible of course but you have to ask whether the business is going to be there to justify the extra investment.

A tram/train to Didcot makes more sense as, unlike a heavy rail station, it will be able to serve Wantage and Grove directly.
[quote][p][bold]osney terrier[/bold] wrote: There is plenty of capacity on this line, Some years ago fgw ran a service from bristol to oxford and then withdrew it. A reintroduction of this service wiith a stop at grove, would surely be possible. The tram link from grove to wantage would then make sense.[/p][/quote]THere is a big difference, in capacity terms, between running a service along a line and stopping at a station. From 2018 or thereabouts there will be four fast Bristols an hour, two more than there are now. You'll need a few miles of loops to enable stopping trains to exit, and enter, the main lines at full speed which could in future years be 140 mph. THis is possible of course but you have to ask whether the business is going to be there to justify the extra investment. A tram/train to Didcot makes more sense as, unlike a heavy rail station, it will be able to serve Wantage and Grove directly. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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