THE Department of Transport has made a dramatic U-turn on a new railway station in southern Oxfordshire following heavy lobbying from residents and MPs.

Wantage Road Station, which closed in 1964 during the Beeching cuts, will now be included in a £500 million Government scheme.

Earlier this month many residents – including Wantage MP David Johnston – were disappointed to find out that the rail hub in the village of Grove was not one of 50 stations across England and Wales shortlisted to be considered for the 'restore the railway fund'.

ALSO READ: Villagers criticise Hollywood film director Tim Burton over fence

Herald Series:

However, in a letter obtained by the Oxford Mail the Minister of State for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris attributed the decision to a 'confusion' between Oxfordshire County Council and the MP's Department.

An investigation into this discovered that officials from the two authorities made errors during the application process.

Mr Heaton-Harris concluded in the letter: "I am happy to include Grove station in the assessment process that is currently underway for the June round.

"I must stress that this does not mean the bid will be successful in securing funding.

"However, all bids that are not successful will receive feedback and advice on the next steps, which could include applying to the November round or an alternative funding stream."

However, Mr Johnston vowed to 'keep plugging away' until Grove gets the vital infrastructure.

ALSO READ: Man killed and one injured in fatal late night crash

The Wantage MP said: "Having been making the case for Grove station to the Government since I was elected, I was privately disappointed not to see it on the list of 50 projects to be assessed for funding.

"I approached both the Department for Transport and Oxfordshire County Council to find out exactly what had happened and there had clearly been some miscommunication".

Leader of the county council Ian Hudspeth welcomed the development but did not address the 'mistakes' in the application process.

The councillor said: "The county council has over many years been seeking to persuade the rail industry of the merits of this scheme and this development brings it a step closer.

"Let us hope that there will be further progress."