On Wednesday 17 August, CrossCountry’s West& Wales Regional Director, Huw Margetts, visited Oxford to join Network Rail, GWR, the city council and other stakeholders to welcome the DfT announcement of funding to complete the next phase of station improvements.
Following approval of a Transport & Works Act Oder allowing Network Rail to complete the work, Rail Minister Wendy Morton awarded a further £78m to support the station’s redevelopment. This followed £70m last year and a further £10m from Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership. When completed, the work will significantly transform the station, the railway in Oxfordshire and nearby road network.
Huw was joined at Oxford by Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Route Director, and Tom Pierpoint, GWR’s Business development Director. Local dignitaries including Leader of the City Council, Susan Brown, and Nigel Tipple from Oxford LEP were also on hand to celebrate the occasion.
While the main body of work is planned for summer 2023, this September and October some weekends will see parts of the current trackwork replaced and underground utilities moved in preparation. Then next year will see a new platform and western station entrance constructed, and the southern bridge on Botley Road replaced to deliver better bus and cycle transit to the city.
The announcement was covered by local print and broadcast media, to celebrate the benefits and raise awareness amongst rail users of the forthcoming work. Attendees all spoke of how the project, when complete, would create a true gateway to the city and provide the capacity for the station to grow and welcome new services such as East West Rail.
Speaking to ITV, Huw said the project was “great news for the city and its rail users” and “another example of industry collaboration to deliver a 21st century passenger experience”.
Network Rail’s Route Director, Mike Gallop, said the scheme addressed the station’s urgent need for more capacity and would “transform the station for passenger and freight services”.
More information on the project and its benefits can be found here.