CALLS to improve rail links between West Oxfordshire and London have received cross-party support as politicians rallied to put an end to commuters’ woes.

Witney MP Robert Courts led a Parliamentary debate on improvements to the Cotswold Line at the end of last month calling for second track to be added to increase frequency.

But the Liberal Democrats have accused Mr Courts of 'jumping on bandwagon' on an issue they have been campaigning on for years.

Jake Acock, the Lib Dem candidate for Ascott and Shipton, said that councillor Liz Leffman had first campaigned for improvements in 2005.

Mr Acock said: “I think it’s very interesting that Robert Courts raised the issue of the Cotswold Line in Parliament after we launched a new petition.

“Would he join me in presenting this petition to Parliament and make it more of a cross-party message?”

The young candidate explained why improving the Cotswold Line was so important.

He said: “I commute from West Oxfordshire to London and it can be really challenging - when you’re waiting for a train and you’re told it will be 15 minutes late, then you end up with two minutes to change at Didcot.

“We have a lot of commuters in West Oxfordshire and improving the Cotswold Line will improve people’s lives.

“But the most important thing is reducing the number of people travelling on the A40 into Oxford."

Mr Courts said it was 'absurd' to suggest any one party had invented the idea of redoubling the line or making suggested improvements.

He said: "What is required is sustained pressure to achieve results in a constructive manner, rather than a poorly-judged attempt to try to make party-political points on this all-important issue."

He added he had campaigned 'constantly' on the issue since 2016 and the debate's timing coincided with Great Western Railway's franchise consultation.

Duncan Enright, who is in the district council’s Labour group, said: “The expansion of the Cotswold line can’t come soon enough for commuters.

“However Labour would go further than others by demanding affordable fares for everyone, new services into Oxford as well as to London, and a bus meeting every train to cut traffic in places like Hanborough and Charlbury.

Stuart Macdonald, Green Party candidate in Witney East, said: “Inadequate infrastructure is crippling the economic and social development of West Oxfordshire. A poor transport system isolates the whole region.

“The transport problem in West Oxfordshire is serious and getting worse: its solution requires an MP who will be taken seriously, not one content to say whatever he thinks people want to hear."