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COMMENT: Let’s hope the station revamp disruption is worth the wait
9:00am Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
Passengers used to waiting on the platform at Oxford train station are a rather beleagured lot.
But the news that the city station will benefit from a £70m revamp may well lighten their mood a little as they stand, coffee in hands, waiting for the morning train to work.
The redevelopment, when it goes ahead, will speed up train traffic through the station – which should improve journey times.
As with any refurbishment, the work should see the site vastly improved, too.
Officials say it will place the city’s station at the centre of the country’s rail network.
That may be so, but it will be of little consequence to passengers.
What they will want are fewer delays, a better overall experience – and cheaper train fares.
This revamp will almost certainly not see prices come down, but it could see other things improve for commuters.
Crucial, though, is the timing of the matter.
The rail regulator says the work will be finished in five years – which, in terms of coffees drunk and crosswords completed, is a long, long time.
As with any large project, there also have to be questions asked about whether the work will finish on time.
And for businesses, motorists and nearby residents, the thought of a shiny new station will, for them, mean just one thing – disruption.
But this has not been rail-roaded through – and we should welcome the plans now being timetabled in.
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