Wantage could get new station

THE drive to reopen a railway station to serve Wantage and Grove has stepped up a gear.

Oxfordshire County Council has increased the priority of the £10m project as part of its strategy for the development of the county rail network over the next 20 years.

It will now start detailed feasibility studies.

But the station, on the site of the former Wantage Road station, north of Grove, can only be built if there is a proven need, because Network Rail has to agree to fund the £10m scheme.

Plans to reopen the Wantage Road station, which closed in 1964, date back at least 10 years.

At present many local commuters drive to Didcot Parkway to catch trains to Reading and London.

Some 2,500 homes are due to be built on Grove Airfield over the next 16 years. In addition, 1,100 homes are also expected to be built at the Crab Hill site in the east of Wantage, and a further 900 homes could be built on land north of Grove at Monk’s Farm.

And the creation of the Science Vale enterprise zone is set to create 8,000 jobs in the area.

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey last month wrote to Transport Secretary Justine Greening urging her to include the scheme as part of the tender process to appoint a company to run services in the Great Western region from 2013.

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He said he hoped to see the station reopened in the next 10 years.

He said: “Given the expansion of Wantage and Grove and the whole economic vibrancy of the area, it makes a lot of sense.”

At present, Network Rail has not included the plan in its next five-year funding plan, which will run from 2014 to 2019.

Grove Parish Council chairman Frank Parnell said it was essential the project was included in the plan, as the new homes were likely to put strain on the road network in the area.

He said there were not enough jobs locally for the residents moving to the area and a rail service would mean they could easily get to Didcot, Oxford, Reading, London and Swindon.

He said: “If you are going to have a station, then the best thing is for it to be in operation when people start moving into the new houses.

“If it’s there when they move in, they’re likely to use it.”

But Rodney Rose, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said reopening the station was a long way off yet.

He said: “We are protecting the concept, rather than saying in the next five years we will have a station, because we will not.”

Network Rail spokesman Sam Kelly said: “Any scheme would need to demonstrate a solid business case and represent good value for money.”

Comments (8)

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6:49pm Wed 6 Jun 12

saddletramp says...

Not this old chestnut again.
Roll out the same old statements.
As is quoted,
But Rodney Rose, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said reopening the station was a long way off yet.

He said: “We are protecting the concept, rather than saying in the next five years we will have a station, because we will not.”

So there not planning anything in the next 5 years.
As i have said before,they talk about increased traffic if,and its a big if,
they build all these houses in Grove,are they going to be anywhere near the old station ?
Nope they will be 1-2 miles away,so how are all the travellers going to get to the station (for those who dont know the geography the railway line is halfway between Grove and Hanney and 3 miles from Wantage)
they will drive !! so we need a car park as well as a station.
So where will people go on the train,Swindon,Readin
g,Oxford?it takes about 30 minutes to drive to all these places from Wantage,so do you really think people will get in the car,drive 10 minutes to the station,pay for parking,pay for a train,wait for the train instead of driving.
Not a chance,a bit like Wantage rd station being re-opened in my lifetime.
A non story that keeps being regurgitated every 6 months.
Not this old chestnut again. Roll out the same old statements. As is quoted, But Rodney Rose, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said reopening the station was a long way off yet. He said: “We are protecting the concept, rather than saying in the next five years we will have a station, because we will not.” So there not planning anything in the next 5 years. As i have said before,they talk about increased traffic if,and its a big if, they build all these houses in Grove,are they going to be anywhere near the old station ? Nope they will be 1-2 miles away,so how are all the travellers going to get to the station (for those who dont know the geography the railway line is halfway between Grove and Hanney and 3 miles from Wantage) they will drive !! so we need a car park as well as a station. So where will people go on the train,Swindon,Readin g,Oxford?it takes about 30 minutes to drive to all these places from Wantage,so do you really think people will get in the car,drive 10 minutes to the station,pay for parking,pay for a train,wait for the train instead of driving. Not a chance,a bit like Wantage rd station being re-opened in my lifetime. A non story that keeps being regurgitated every 6 months. saddletramp

7:31pm Wed 6 Jun 12

winger whitley says...

I generally agree with the above post, but even in towns with a station, most have a couple of miles to commute to the station. Distance isn't the issue - car parking is. but there's plenty of room down at the old site for parking though. We need a station, with the best will in the world, its years away.
I generally agree with the above post, but even in towns with a station, most have a couple of miles to commute to the station. Distance isn't the issue - car parking is. but there's plenty of room down at the old site for parking though. We need a station, with the best will in the world, its years away. winger whitley

8:21am Thu 7 Jun 12

Mark L. says...

"He said there were not enough jobs locally for the residents moving to the area"
So why build thousands of new houses where there aren't any jobs!
"He said there were not enough jobs locally for the residents moving to the area" So why build thousands of new houses where there aren't any jobs! Mark L.

8:48am Thu 7 Jun 12

Madi50n says...

Saddletramp - I'd cycle there instead of parking at the P&R in Oxford as I do now and cycle into town.

Mark L. - because the nimbys won't allow new houses anywhere near Oxford.

We live in a commuter society - I for one, would love a station, it would mean fewer bills running my car, easier commutes, and probably the value of property in Wantage/Grove going up because of the wider range of commute options for people looking to buy.
Saddletramp - I'd cycle there instead of parking at the P&R in Oxford as I do now and cycle into town. Mark L. - because the nimbys won't allow new houses anywhere near Oxford. We live in a commuter society - I for one, would love a station, it would mean fewer bills running my car, easier commutes, and probably the value of property in Wantage/Grove going up because of the wider range of commute options for people looking to buy. Madi50n

8:51am Thu 7 Jun 12

Lady Penelopee says...

Can they put a railway station in Witney too?!?! That would clear the A40 up in the mornings!
Can they put a railway station in Witney too?!?! That would clear the A40 up in the mornings! Lady Penelopee

9:56am Thu 7 Jun 12

Gunslinger says...

A new station in Wantage would also require a new local (stopping) train service between Didcot and Swindon with sufficiently frequent trains to make use competitive and attractive.
This service was cut out in the 1960's along with the local stations, among other things to free up capacity for freight and the upcoming fast HST services.
If it is going to reintroduced, then why not reopen other local stations along the route too - eg Steventon?
A new station in Wantage would also require a new local (stopping) train service between Didcot and Swindon with sufficiently frequent trains to make use competitive and attractive. This service was cut out in the 1960's along with the local stations, among other things to free up capacity for freight and the upcoming fast HST services. If it is going to reintroduced, then why not reopen other local stations along the route too - eg Steventon? Gunslinger

2:37am Sat 9 Jun 12

osney terrier says...

Going to Oxford would require a change at Didcot,unless they re-instate the Bristol-Oxford service and i cant see that happening.
Going to Oxford would require a change at Didcot,unless they re-instate the Bristol-Oxford service and i cant see that happening. osney terrier

8:40am Mon 25 Jun 12

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

Dr.Beeching would be turning in his grave.

Good!
Dr.Beeching would be turning in his grave. Good! ## Nonny Mouse ##

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