Ascott-under-Wychwood shoppers get back on track for Christmas
The 7.10am from Hereford to London slows down for its special stop at Ascott-under-Wychwood on December 3 last year
VILLAGERS in West Oxfordshire will get another chance to catch a train to do their Christmas shopping and back efforts to get their station a regular Saturday service.
For the second year running, at the request of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, trains will make special stops at Ascott-under-Wychwood on Saturdays in December, giving residents the chance of a trip by Rail to Oxford or London, or an outing to Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre.
The West Oxfordshire station lost its Saturday services in December 2006, leaving it with just one weekday train into Oxford and one back.
Nearby Shipton station, which serves Shipton-under-Wychwood and Milton-under-Wychwood, sees eight First Great Western trains calling on Saturdays.
Ascott’s station was given a second platform last year as part of Network Rail’s project to reinstate double track on 20 miles of the Oxford-Worcester route.
The CLPG wants to see Saturday calls at the station reinstated and hopes another good response by villagers to this year’s special stops will encourage the operator chosen to run Great Western services when a new franchise is awarded to consider operating regular services.
Last year, dozens of passengers took advantage of the extra trains.
CLPG chairman John Ellis said: “We hope that there will be an even greater take-up this year, and help us in our efforts to get more trains stopping at Ascott and Shipton for the benefit of residents in the Wychwoods and Burford.”
The group also hopes the trains will also attract visitors to the Wychwoods area, including walkers seeking a car-free day out in the Cotswolds.
First Great Western’s Cotswold Line stations manager Teresa Ceesay said: “Our fares are good value when compared with the cost of driving and parking.”
The following trains will stop at Ascott on Saturdays December 1, 8, 15 and 22:
- The 7.10am from Hereford to London will call at 9.04am. The train is due to arrive in Oxford at 9.25am and London Paddington at 10.29am.
- The 11.21am from Paddington to Worcester and Great Malvern, which leaves Oxford at 12.23pm, will call at Ascott at 12.47pm and the 3.21pm from Paddington to Great Malvern (4.23pm from Oxford) will stop at Ascott at 4.45pm.
- On December 1 only, the 5.49pm from Great Malvern (6.02pm from Worcester Foregate Street) will call at Ascott at 7pm to bring home afternoon visitors to the Worcester Christmas Fayre.