PASSENGERS had the first full day’s service from the new Oxford Parkway station yesterday ahead of the first busy Monday morning.

The first train left at 7.49am with 80 passengers on board as part of a dress rehearsal for the working week.

A half hourly service ran all day to Bicester Village, Haddenham and Thame Parkway and Islip.

On-board announcements are also being read out in Japanese and Mandarin due to the popularity of designer shopping outlet Bicester Village among Japanese and Chinese shoppers.

Andrew Hornsby-Smith, 53, of Kidlington, had a bottle of champagne and made sure he was on the first train.

The former Kidlington parish councillor said it was great: “I was delighted to be on the first train.

“It’s something Kidlington has needed for a long time and we wanted to celebrate.

“The train was fast, efficient and clean. It makes the area much better connected.

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“It’s going to make life much easier for a lot of people and also hopefully relieve congestion into Oxford.”

Transport campaigner Hugh Jaeger was the first through the door and also got on board the first train.

He said: “I have been rooting for this for years.

“I got up very early and headed down. I wanted to be the first person and I was.

“We need to encourage people to use the trains and get out of their cars and hopefully this will do that, although I worry about the lack of shelter space on the platform.”

This morning hundreds of commuters look set to use the new link for the first time.

Yesterday’s dress rehearsal gave Chiltern Railways the chance to iron out problems.

Business development director Graham Cross said: “We are delighted with the first day.

“It’s been a dress rehearsal. We wanted to make sure everything ran smoothly before the opening morning.

“The first train left on time at 7.49am with 80 passengers.

“We had plenty of train enthusiasts but also regular passengers. It’s a proud moment for the team.”

Extra trains were put on to Wembley Stadium for the American Football NFL clash between Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.

Today sees the official opening of the first new station linking a major city to London for more than 100 years.

The station’s car park has 850 spaces and an extra 150 bays for bikes, while buses access the site from Water Eaton park-and-ride.