Companies don’t know when compulsory purchase orders will arrive for station plan

FED UP: Paul Gray of Grayline Coaches

FED UP: Paul Gray of Grayline Coaches Buy this photo

First published in News by

BOSSES say they have been left in limbo over when their companies will have to vacate their premises to make way for Bicester’s new railway station.

Firms in one half of Station Approach were told in 2010 that their sites would be the subject of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) so Chiltern Railways could have the land for its Evergreen Three Project.

But the firms are still waiting for details and say it is “frustrating” as they can’t plan for the future.

A new station, parking and re-aligned road is due to be built in Station Approach.

The line between Bicester Town station and Oxford was closed on February 15 and work started last week to remove the track.

Once complete in 2015 the route will offer Oxford commuters a new line to London, and people will be able to travel between Bicester and Oxford in 14 minutes.

Paul Gray, Grayline Coaches operations manager, said his firm has waited more than a year for the CPO and fears it could miss out on a potential new site.

He said: “We have got our eye on a new site but we are not in a position to move. The second issue is that no one knows what sort of timescale we are facing.

“We could be off site in three months, six months or 12 months. Until that order lands on our desk we are stuck in limbo. It’s utterly soul-destroying. As a business, we can’t move forward.

“There are few sites available in Bicester and our firm has specific requirements.”

Mr Gray said any base could not be near residential properties, and he needed storage space for more than 20 vehicles, a workshop, offices and welfare facilities.

Luke Williams, of nearby Plumbase, which will also need a new home, said: “We are trying to find a building the same size or bigger. It’s not easy as everything gets snapped up quickly.

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“We think we have got to be out between August and October.

“That means we have got to find a new building, get it surveyed to see if it will work and move.”

A Chiltern Railways spokesman said legal notices relating to the CPOs were being prepared.

He said: “We are in touch with all the affected businesses and are working to help them find alternative premises.”

In 2017, the line will form part of the East-West link, to run from Reading, via Oxford, Bicester Town to Milton Keynes and Bedford.

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