A BID to open a new railway station in southern Oxfordshire 'did not make the cut' in a £500 million Government shortlist.

The long-running campaign to reopen Wantage Road Station, which closed in 1964 during the Beeching cuts, has seen residents, councillors and MPs push to rebuild the 'vital' infrastructure.

However, despite heavy local support, the rail hub in the village of Grove was not one of 50 stations across England and Wales shortlisted to be considered for the 'restore the railway fund'.

The station would save residents having to drive to Didcot Parkway to catch a train, which takes 20 minutes without traffic.

Wantage and Didcot MP David Johnston said he has been 'banging the drum' for the station to reopen since he got elected in December.

The Conservative minister added: "We submitted for Grove in for the first round.

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"However, Oxfordshire County Council said they were advised by Department for Transport officials that as it is a more developed, strategic idea, it would stand a better chance of success in a different funding stream that is coming in November."

Mr Johnston also raised the 'hot topic' in the House of Commons in February.

At the time he said: "For over 40 years now my constituents have campaigned to have it open as it would connect them better, get people off congested roads and support our efforts to tackle climate change."

Previously councillors and residents have petitioned Network Rail, which runs and manages the railways, to reopen the station.

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A spokesperson for the county council explained that the new station at Grove/Wantage is being dealt with as part of the Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study.

This is because it is more developed than the other very early ideas being put forward.

They added: "Grove station remains a top priority for Oxfordshire and we are committed to make a bid to the autumn round of ‘Restoring Your Railways’ funding."

In the South East Chinnor Railway Aston Rowant extension is one of the shortlisted bids that will be considered by a government panel.

Successful schemes will be named by the end of the summer.