Plans to reopen a south Oxfordshire railway station have hit a 'breakthrough' say supporters from a campaign group. 

The Wantage and Grove Station closed in December of 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts, a series of major national route closures and service changes. 

A campaign group entitled Wantage and Grove Station Supporters Group has since launched efforts to reopen the station. 

Group founder Andy Holding has been campaigning for years to reopen the station, and believes that he has made a breakthrough. 

Oxford Mail: Andy campaigns with Wantage and Grove Station Supporters Group.Andy campaigns with Wantage and Grove Station Supporters Group. (Image: Andy Holding)

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After recently holding talks with four train operators, he believes the response is positive with one of the companies stating they would like to serve the area. 

“One train operator wants to serve Grove Station now, with others not saying no to serving Grove Station,” revealed Andy. 

“This is a really positive step along with the Strategic Outline Business Case study.

“I’m chuffed to bits at this news, but there’s a long way to go before I run around Wantage and Grove jumping up and down.

“They have said there are some constraints, but these can be overcome.

“I have to keep it confidential for now as they will be in discussions with the SOBC study, but I can say it’s an open-access operator.”

Oxford Mail: Wantage and Grove station has seen no trains since 1964.Wantage and Grove station has seen no trains since 1964. (Image: Andy Holding)

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The 52-year-old held an online poll this month to ask locals whether or not they would like to see the railway station reinstated.

As many as 1,752 people wanted the station to reopen while 130 others were against, meaning that 93 per cent were in favour.

The population of the area has also grown substantially since the station’s closure in the 1960s and Andy believes this is a vital reason why it needs to return.

“I’m very concerned about the poor infrastructure in our area, so this is another reason for campaigning for a station,” he added.

“When Grove station closed in 1964 the population of Wantage and Grove was 7,794 according to population figures from Oxfordshire libraries.

Oxford Mail: Andy Holding is hopeful that the station can reopen in the future.Andy Holding is hopeful that the station can reopen in the future. (Image: Andy Holding)

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“Since then the population of Grove, Wantage and East Challow is 34,797, which is an increase of 27,003 or 347 per cent.

“The catchment area for southwest Oxfordshire is 81,000 currently, but this is projected to increase to 94,000 by 2030.”

Andy remains hopeful that the station will return, especially given the latest meetings with train operators, but knows there is a long track ahead.

“As the area is the second fastest growing community in Oxfordshire it is vital we have a station, as the transport infrastructure will struggle to cope with additional traffic congestion,” he concluded.

“At the moment it’s all looking good but there’s still a long way to go before we receive any approval from the Department for Transport and Office for Roads Rail.”