Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has today met with officials from the Department for Transport to make the case for the reopening of rail lines in Oxfordshire, including the Cowley Branch Line and Grove Station in Wantage, saying “if the Conservatives are serious about reviewing the Expressway, they’ll invest in our rail.”
Moran was invited to attend a drop-in session organised by the Department, and spoke to civil servants and ministers about the “urgent and important” need to “invest in connectivity across the county, not just in and into Oxford.”
The MP laid out the importance of building a new station at Grove in particular, on land already safeguarded under the Vale of White Horse’s local plan, which would help bring people into an area that houses a growing number of enterprises such as the Williams Formula 1 team.
Although the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s recent study into developing rail infrastructure said the station would become viable in 2028 with future housing growth, Moran said that “we need this station sooner, as we need to take current congestion and a lack of public transport capacity into account.”
Layla also spoke about restoring the Witney to Oxford line and building a station at Begbroke, actions that would help ease congestion in west Oxford including along the Botley Road.
Commenting, Layla said:
“This is urgent and important - if the Conservatives are serious about reviewing the Expressway, they’ll invest in our rail. The current situation, with severe congestion and plans for an eight-lane Expressway that haven’t been ruled out, is unacceptable.
“I welcome the opportunity to work with the Government in improving our sustainable infrastructure in Oxfordshire – it’s important we invest in connectivity across the county, not just in and into Oxford.
“By reversing some of the Beeching cuts and opening stations such as at Grove in Wantage, greener transport options will be made possible for many more people in our community.”
The Oxfordshire Growth Board’s recent report, the Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study, can be read here
The report from December 2018 by SLC Rail into the viability of Grove & Wantage Station can be read here