A DECISION into a high-profile bid to revive a transport hub in southern Oxfordshire is set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Following heavy lobbying from residents and MPs, the Wantage Road Station, which closed in 1964 during the Beeching cuts, was included in a £500 million Government scheme to help restore historic railway lines.

Wantage MP David Johnston confirmed that an independent panel, which has been accessing the bid for the old rail hub in Grove, will announce its decision in July, however, an exact day is still to be confirmed.

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Since his appointment as an MP in the December 2019 General Election, Mr Johnston has been campaigning for the station to reopen to improve connectivity and travel opportunities for residents.

Alongside highlighting the importance of restoring the local railway line in the House of Commons, he revealed he has been regularly meeting with ministers and 'bending the ears' of Great Western Rail and Network Rail officials.

But the MP warned his constituents that it is a 'tough competition' out there and that the Government has only funded 10 to 15 applications at a time out of 85 made across the country.

He said: "At some point in the next month we should hear whether or not we will get development funding for Grove Station in this round of funding.

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"Most times you get funding to explore how the station will work – for example, what would its design or precise location be, would it be a stop on existing train routes or do you need a new route with other new stations.

"In general, you sadly do not get a big cheque to go away and build it.

"I will obviously be delighted if we get funding, though there will be further hurdles to get over to get the station built and operating.

"If we are not successful this time, I will just keep going and going until we are."

In addition to his 'behind-the scenes-work', Mr Johnston also carried out a two-week survey into the proposal to show the Government which stations and lines are actually popular among the local community and which should be considered for reopening.

More than 2,600 people in Wantage and Grove completed the survey and the results revealed that 98 per cent of constituents supported the reopening, 91 per cent said they would prefer it to a new bus service and 89 per cent confirmed they would use their car less.