PLATFORMS at Bicester North and Haddenham & Thame Parkway stations are to be lengthened to allow longer trains to stop.

The stations are among five between London Marylebone and Banbury where work will be done to allow Chiltern Railways to run nine-coach trains.

Work has already started and Bicester North’s platforms will be complete by next summer.

The scheme is a joint initiative between Network Rail and Chiltern, with the aim of providing seats for an extra 1,000 passengers into London during the morning peak-hour by 2019.

Liam Sumpter, the area director for Network Rail, said: “As the number of passengers travelling by train on this route continues to rise, it’s important we work together and invest in the network to meet the increasing demand.

“The nature of the work means there will be some disruption while it is carried out, but we continue to work closely with Chiltern Railways to minimise this as much as possible.”

The first phase of the work will be completed by the end of July this year and will allow Chiltern Railways to operate longer trains between Birmingham and London when the West Coast main line route to London’s Euston station is closed for major engineering work in August.