Plans have been approved by the Government to develop rail infrastructure in Oxford which will help to introduce new services to the area.
The project is already underway and has received £72.7m for final design and enabling work with a further £88.3m needed for the construction phase of work.
Once completed the project will allow more passenger services to run and will provide extra capacity for freight services running through Oxfordshire.
Network Rail is currently finalising designs for a new Western entrance and additional platform at Oxford Station.
The follows on from the granting of ‘Prior Approval’ planning consent from Oxford City Council in autumn 2021.
This expansion also paves the way for future rail projects in Oxfordshire including the reopening of the Cowley Branch Line for passenger use.
The reopening of the Cowley Branch Line will help support Oxford’s economic inclusion strategy.
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council commented on the approval of the plans in Oxford.
Cllr Brown said: “We want to see the Government make a commitment to provide immediate and sustained funding for rail improvements in Oxford and across Oxfordshire.
“Better rail links from the East to the West of the country would provide huge benefits to link key knowledge and innovation centres.
“The expansion of Oxford Station is much needed to support additional passenger services [and] provide more capacity for nationally important rail freight.
“These improvements will help us give local residents, as well as visitors to our city, better options and help us improve our air quality.
“Introducing passenger services on the Cowley Branch Line will make journeys to the City Centre and beyond much quicker for people living in the south and east of Oxford.”
The project also includes plans to provide improved facilities for both cyclists and pedestrians accessing the station.
Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East spoke on the project saying: “I have long campaigned for the re-opening of the Cowley Branch line to passengers.
“It’s great to see both local councils working hard for this too.
“Re-opening the line would massively speed up travel into the city centre and beyond.
“I will continue to push for urgent action to re-open the line, for the sake of local residents.”
Rail industry leaders are set to discuss the big infrastructure projects in the South at this years TransCityRail South event, click here for more information.