June 2014 marks five years since the publication of the Connecting Communities report into potential opportunities to expand the rail network. This blog will be publishing a set of posts during June to review the progress that has been made to date. This is the eleventh post in the “Five Years On” series.
This post reviews the progress of two of the railway stations in the West Midlands.
Wantage and Grove
This Park and Ride station proposal was located on the Great Western Mainline between Didcot and Swindon. The BCR was expected to be 3.8 with a cost of £4m. ATOC expected it to be served by a shuttle from Didcot.
Oxfordshire County Council have advised that a railway stations serving the area around Wantage and Grove remains a key aspiration for the County Councils long term transport strategy and the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan safeguards the reopening of the station as a future option.
A major issue is that the railway station would sit on the Great Western Mainline and stopping trains at the railway station would substantially affect the timetable. The Council is currently reviewing its transport vision and has proposed a light rail system as an option.
A seven mile single track electrified railway line was proposed with stations at Bramley and Cranleigh. The BCR was 1.7 and capital costs were £63m.
The Surrey Rail Strategy reviewed the potential for restoring the railway line between Guildford and Cranleigh but the proposal was rejected due to the lack of a viable business case.