SPEED scheme sees £161M fund for Oxford station
Some £161M of government funding will see the transformation of Oxford Station, that will result in quicker journeys, under the Rail SPEED scheme.
The upgrades at Oxford station will help boost economic growth and opportunities in the local area, creating faster journeys and increased capacity, as well as new platform, cycling paths and entrance.
This is one of the inaugural projects under the Rail SPEED scheme which aims to deliver rail projects quicker at lower costs. The SPEED (Swift, Pragmatic and Efficient Enhancement Delivery) scheme aims to halve the time it takes to complete a rail infrastructure project and slash the cost of project delivery – helping local areas to build back better through investment.
Rail Minister Wendy Morton revealed the funding boost and that the upgrades will be completed by 2024. The changes have been specifically designed to improve passenger experience, better integrate the station into the local road networks and boost economic growth by supporting the creation of almost 10,000 jobs in the area.
Among the upgrades will be the creation of a brand-new track, platform and fully accessible entrance on the west side of the station, making travel far easier for all passengers.
Funding will also be used to renovate the existing road bridge on Botley Road to create a four-metre wide cycling and walking path and allowing standard height double-decker buses to pass underneath for the first time ever. It will also fund three new high-speed crossovers to be created, which will enable trains to turn around in the station, increasing services and reducing journey times.
The upgrades will play a central role in boosting economic growth and opportunities in the local and surrounding areas and increasing freight services to the equivalent of about 500 lorries per day between Southampton Ports container hub, the Midlands and North West – increasing supply chain resilience while supporting the environment.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route and strategic operations director, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this significant amount of funding from the Department for Transport, which will enable us make positive substantial improvements to Oxford station and railway for the benefit of our passengers and freight customers.
“A new entrance, new additional track and platform, and improved accessibility will transform this station so that is fit for the 21st century and significantly enhance its capacity for increases in passenger numbers and future services such as East West Rail.”
Work at the station will begin later this year, with the Botley Road improvements expected to be completed by the end of 2023 followed by the new platform and entrance which is set to open in 2024.
Image: Kollawat Somsri / Shutterstock.com
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