A COUNCIL leader has highlighted the important role of a new railway station in southern Oxfordshire.

Vale of White Horse District Council head Emily Smith offered help to Oxfordshire County Council to develop the proposal for a station at Grove.

The Department for Transport made a U-turn this month when it put a Grove station on a list of potential projects after lobbying from residents and MPs.

Wantage Road Station, which closed in 1964 during the Beeching cuts, will now be included in a £500 million Government feasibility study.

Also read: Government makes U-turn on rail hub – after 'miscommunication' with council

In a letter to county council leader Ian Hudspeth Mrs Smith said: “The Vale of White Horse District Council would welcome the opportunity to work with Oxfordshire County Council to develop the proposal further.

“In particular, how it could support the wider planning agenda, be more central to strategic transport provision in this area, and fit with wider rail aspirations, especially in terms of securing a viable train service.

“This project is important in the context of the council’s work on addressing sustainable travel as part of its work on addressing climate change.”

All bids that are not successful for the ‘Restore the Railway Fund’ scheme will receive feedback and advice on the next steps, which could include applying to a round in November.