Carterton to Oxford Railway
The County Council commissioned a report on the feasibility of a railway from Carterton to Oxford via Witney and Eynsham. A train line would greatly help those of us living to the west of Oxford and make the A40 more bearable in terms of traffic.
The report has said that the line would be technically and financially feasible, albeit with a probable cost of £700-900 million. There is clearly a huge amount of work ahead to turn this aspiration into reality.
There is an interesting article in the Oxford Mail on the topic, featuring West Oxfordshire District Councillor Charlie Maynard, who is the Chair of the Witney-Oxford Transport Group.
I very much share the aspirations for the railway and like many people here, including my predecessor as County Councillor, believe that tinkering with the A40 won’t solve our transport issues, but a railway could.
Roads and Transport update
Botley Road remains closed at the railway bridge. Can I remind everyone that trains continue to run into Oxford from Hanborough, and that many buses are terminating at Osney, with a pedestrian underpass into the city. Other buses, including the rerouted S1, are going down Woodstock Road. Predicted chaos hasn’t happened! And the E1 journey is delightfully quick! In other train news, Nuneham Viaduct has been repaired ahead of schedule and the line from Oxford to Didcot has been reopened.
In terms of buses, Pulhams have been acquired by the Go-Ahead Group’s Oxford Bus Company. First and Last Mile, which runs the service from Northmoor to Standlake, Eynsham and Hanborough, is still looking for volunteer drivers.
We’re expecting the latest iteration of the A40 plans to be drafted this month, and go to Cabinet in July and again in September. More news when I get it. In the meantime, the Shores Green junction improvements were approved by the County Council planning committee last week. This will make the easterly A40 Witney junction four way. South Leigh Parish Council has ensured a set of interventions to try to discourage the use of South Leigh as a rat-run. It will be interesting to see what effect the new junction has both to the south of the A40 and to Witney town centre.
Finally, the Eynsham Park and Ride is taking shape. There was a find of an Iron Age settlement, which is apparently very interesting.
Town and Parish charter
OCC is looking at developing a ‘Town and Parish Council Charter’. Recognising the importance of town and parish councils (incl. parish meetings) in local government, the charter would aim to strengthen how OCC works with town and parish councils. The charter will be co-created through a process of engagement, kicking off in July.
Please do get in touch with comments, issues and concerns, via Dan.firstname.lastname@example.org