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Railway station future on the agenda
10:30am Tuesday 3rd April 2012 in Business
MOVING Oxford railway station to a new site remains under consideration by Network Rail, according to its regional boss.
But Patrick Hallgate, the rail infrastructure firm’s Western route director, said that for the moment it was pressing ahead with plans for a £35m capacity enhancement scheme for the Oxford area, including the existing station, subject to approval of its spending plans for 2015-19 by the rail regulator.
Mr Hallgate told the Oxford Mail yesterday that once the current project to rebuild Reading station was completed, Oxford would be one of the key pinchpoints in the region.
His views echo the draft version of the county council’s rail strategy, published in January, which said the station would be “the major constraint on the rail network in the Thames Valley”.
Rail traffic through the city has risen by 65 per cent in the past decade.
The future of the station will be on the agenda when Mr Hallgate meets county councillors this week.
He said: “We are at a very early stage of working with the council on their proposals and their ideas around opportunities to look at and even going so far as to look at relocation from the station perspective.
“The issue is going to be how far that ties in with the requirements of our own major programmes across the region and whether we can see what’s possible in the timeframe, bearing in mind the funding requirements.
“Any future aspirations would need to be met by funding, but we’re more than happy to work with interested parties on how we make the best of delivering future rail services and meeting future requirements around Oxford.”