BICESTER Town Station will be renamed Bicester Village, despite town leaders strongly opposing the name change.

In what is being called a "disappointing" decision, Chiltern Railways today announced the new station will be named after the town's designer shopping outlet.

The reasons behind "Bicester Village" include making it clearer which station to travel to for the popular designer shopping outlet centre and that it is likely to ease congestion by encouraging visitors ti use public transport.

At a public meeting with the rail company in February, the majority of residents strongly opposed the Bicester Village option including town Mayor Lynn Pratt.

She said: "I am very disappointed, it was not like we hadn't put forward other suggestions such as Bicester London Road or Bicester South to align with the existing Bicester North.

"It is disappointing that they haven't taken on what was said at the public meeting, they say they have done their own research so what can you do?

"I just can't see why they can't leave it as it was.

"Whether it will reduce the traffic who knows, lots of people come from other places and not just Birmingham and London."

The rail company has said that an independent survey carried out after the public meeting in February, balanced out the "strong feelings" to keep the stations's name.

But a poll on our website revealed 55% wanted to keep the name as Bicester Town.

Director at Chiltern Railways Thomas Ableman said: "We strongly believe that the upcoming rail link between Oxford and London Marylebone and new station in Bicester will open up exciting opportunities for the region.

"Naming the station Bicester Village, should encourage more visitors to travel via sustainable means and reduce congestion within the town."

The name change comes as part of the £130m project to create a new line between Bicester, Oxford and London Marylebone.

A Bicester Village spokeswoman said it was Chiltern Railways' decision and that no money had changed hands.

She added the decision was 'very valuable in terms of our long term plan to shift visitors from cars to railway'.

The station in London Road is currently being redeveloped and is due to open in September.