HANBOROUGH station could be connected to Oxford by three trains every hour if a masterplan for the future development of the Cotswold Line rail route between Oxford and Worcester becomes a reality.

The plan also calls for two trains per hour linking Worcester with London, one of which would be an express serving only the busiest intermediate stations.

Revealing the proposals for a £275m investment in further improvements to the line between 2019 and 2024, at a launch event in Witney yesterday, train operator Great Western Railway’s managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “We want to be bold – world-class counties like Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire need a world-class railway.”

He said investment in the line would help to drive economic development in the communities it serves and help to meet growing demand all along the route. He said that a 100-space car park extension opened at Kingham station last September was already 80 per cent full on weekdays.

To operate three trains an hour to Hanborough would require reinstatement of more double track on the line, between North Oxford and Long Hanborough, and the reopening of two disused platforms at Hanborough station. The direct journey time between Hanborough and London would be about an hour if the plans come to fruition.

Delegates at the event, held at Witney Lakes Resort, which brought together representatives of the rail industry with councils and businesses along the line between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford, were addressed by Prime Minister andWitney MP David Cameron.

He told them: “If you want to get rail investment, you need to have confidence, you need to have ambition and you need a compelling case and I think the three things you need are coming together here.”

He added: “I am utterly convinced of the necessity of investing in this line. I will do everything I can to give this vision a boost.”

As well as running more trains, Mr Hopwood said it was also important to ensure that there was good access to stations, including more car parking but also providing reliable, integrated bus links.

He said: “Many people use cars to get to stations, but we can’t go on building car parks forever. so if we can find better ways of getting people to our stations, that would be a good thing.”

He said GWR also supported the proposal to run passenger trains on the currently freight-only branch line to Cowley to help tackle congestion in and around Oxford.

Rodney Rose, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, whose division includes five Cotswold Line stations, said: “I feel the key to growth in West Oxfordshire is rail and that will also stop us covering this lovely district in tarmac.”

Meanwhile, Oxford Station’s short-stay car park is due to shut so that platform works can take place.

From Monday, February 22, users will have to use the Beckett Street long-stay car park instead.

This is so that workers can renovate a platform formerly used for goods to become a passenger platform for Chiltern Railways’ new service to London Marylebone, via Oxford Parkway station.