WORK has begun on a £7.7m project to transform Didcot Parkway railway station. Improvement work, first outlined in 2001, was originally due to start in March last year, but was postponed twice. But the scheme was launched this April at the site off Station Road.

Major work to transform the forecourt, and improve the ticket office and station concourse, is now under way. First Great Western ’s ticket office upgrade and the installation of new ticket barriers, costing £1.89m, started on Friday and will take 12 weeks to complete. The county council scheme to redesign the forecourt, to make it easier and safer for cars, buses, cyclists, taxis and pedestrians to use, is due to start on Monday and will take 15 months to complete.

Forecourt improvements are due to be completed within 15 months, in advance of the £125m extension to the Orchard shopping centre.