COUNCIL bosses have been urged by a local MP to "protect residents" after Network Rail revealed plans to abandon promised noise mitigation.

Nicola Blackwood MP has written to the city council expressing her "deep concern" over the rail firm's attempts to renege on its commitment to install 'Silent Track' along a residential section of track between Oxford and Oxford Parkway.

The Oxford West and Abingdon MP called on council planners to properly investigate Network Rail's claims the innovative technology did not represent "value for money."

It had initially agreed to a number of conditions to alleviate the impact of the new East-West rail link - which will bring more frequent and faster trains - on more than 200 homes.

But last month it applied to withdraw plans to install specially-designed 'silent track' to reduce noise created by trains and reduce future monitoring of noise and vibrations to people's homes.

Ms Blackwood's letter read: "Like many of my constituents I am deeply concerned about Network Rail's applications to vary the additional conditions imposed by Oxford City Council and about the impact the scheme will inevitably have on people's daily lives.

"I have received correspondence from Network Rail explaining their reasoning for not implementing Silent Track, however the council will be aware this primarily relates to cost.

"I would urge OCC and all members of the West Area planning committee to ensure that the Benefit Cost Ratio as detailed by Network Rail has been validated, in order that residents can be confident in the council's ability to protect residents."

Ms Blackwood also revealed she had met with Rail Minister Claire Perry MP who, she said, had been "clear" on the need to adequately mitigate the effects of noise from the rail line.

The minister had attended a public meeting in March 2015 in which a Network Rail representative, according to Ms Blackwood's letter, made a "clear commitment" to run Silent Track through to Wolvercote.

Jonathan Finnerty, a director of residents group Oxford Waterside Management Company, said the rail firm had refused to meet residents.

He said: "The biggest disappointment is the lack of communication and lack of willingness for a status meeting.

"They could put our minds at rest."

Network Rail spokesman, Simon Masters said: "Network Rail considered all options when carrying out the upgrade work to the railway line in Oxfordshire.

"The ‘silent track’ system was considered, however the additional cost far outweighed any tangible benefit to the public."

Oxford City Council will decide whether to allow the variation of conditions at a meeting expected to take place later this month.

Residents can comment on by searching for applications 16/01858/VAR and 16/01861/VAR on the planning section of