HOW fortunate the commuters of Oxford are, with the announcement of the new rail link from Oxford to London, via Bicester village.

The commuter now has the choice of Paddington or Marylebone, at one mile away, when the link is complete.

The sceptics among us, including me, might well suggest the new link is far more relevant to the free-spending Bicester Village visitor – who will step off the train into the village – than any project which helps the frustrated commuter.

At the moment, the Bicester Village visitor, arriving by train, has around a two-mile round trip by shuttle bus to complete any trip.

They also have to endure the snarled Bicester traffic, ironically caused by the Bicester village visitor road user.

The American-owned Bicester Village (value retail) seems to follow the trend of many USA overseas policies: take over, give a few local jobs, add a few drops of PR and get the local authorities on your side – all at cost.

Then, as the song goes, let the good times roll.

Surely, questions should be asked of the stance of local authorities.

Sir Tony Baldry has shouted from the rooftops regarding the streamlining of Chinese visa applications, so it will be made easier for them to visit the village – great.

However, when Sir Tony has been asked questions of the welfare and recreation facilities for Bicester, his attitude was far more distant.

Cherwell District Council members were falling over each other in a desperate manner to be first to pass the latest Bicester Village planning application, but have clearly failed to provide recreation facilities for Bicester, while the local town council’s countless hours of childish argument about the Mayor’s ceremonial chain appears to top their agenda and, indeed, show their limits.

So why do the people of Bicester shade into insignificance, compared to the mighty village?

Must be that if you want to have a ball, you go out and spend some cash.

Let the good times roll.

ROGER WISE, The Glebe, Culham