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Oxford Corridor Phase 2

We are looking to increase capacity at Oxford station to accommodate additional services planned for 2024.

Artist impression of Oxford station

The rail infrastructure in the Oxford Station area is close to full capacity and currently wouldn’t be able to accommodate the increase in services planned for 2024. Therefore, to increase capacity, ‘Oxford Corridor Phase 2’ is being developed, and subject to funding, will provide a number of improvements.

Key benefits

  • New platform with improved passenger facilities to significantly improve station capacity from 2024.
  • New secondary station entrance on the western side of the railway to improve accessibility and passenger experience.
  • Replacement and upgrade of Botley Road bridge, with addition of 4-metre cycle/footway on each side to encourage walking and cycling.
  • Additional height clearance of new bridge will mean standard size double-decker buses will be able to pass underneath for the first time.
  • Realignment of Roger Dudman Way to create safer road layout for junctions with Botley Road.
  • Closure of level crossings at Yarnton Lane and Sandy Lane, as well as creation of three high-speed crossovers at Oxford North Junction. This will:
    1. Improve safety of the line
    2. Create capacity for additional Oxford to Birmingham passenger services
    3. Reduce journey times by up to two minutes
    4. Increase in capacity to accommodate an additional 12 freight trains per day

Our plans

We have been carrying out public engagement with various stakeholders from across the city, including a virtual public meeting where the project team talked through the plans. You can watch and download the presentation below.

Further information about the plans will be announced over the coming months, but if you have any questions, please contact us via OxfordPhase2@networkrail.co.uk

Next steps

An application for “prior approval” was made to Oxford City Council in July 2021 under Part 18 Class A to Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO) as a permitted development. While the project does not require full planning permission, Oxford City Council must give its “prior approval” of the scheme to the siting and appearance. The application was considered by the Oxford City Planning Committee in November 2021, with approval being granted.

Key documents from the application can be viewed below or the full submission is available on the Oxford City Council website, along with the minutes from the meeting.

Prior approval application documents 

Environmental Statement 

Our application for “prior approval” includes an Environmental Statement which is based on the full Environmental Impact Assessment we have carried out as per the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. All the documents can be viewed below. 

Environmental Statement documents  

The scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment was agreed with the council in January 2021, after consultation with the statutory consultees such as the Highways Authority, Environment Agency, Natural England etc. The documents below were submitted to the council in 2020 as part of the scoping discussions. During that process, the extent of the development work has been reduced, so some of the details in the document have changed.  

Environmental Impact Assessment scoping documents

Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) 

In order to acquire the necessary land, we submitted an application for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to the Secretary of State for Transport in June 2021. If approved, this will grant Network Rail the powers to acquire the land and rights necessary for the works to be delivered. Network Rail will seek to use compulsory purchase powers only after all reasonable practicable means to negotiate their voluntary acquisition have been exhausted. The TWAO documents we have submitted can be viewed for information below. 

TWAO documents

Public inquiry

A public inquiry was held in Oxford from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 December 2021. Further information about the hearing can be found on the Gateley Hamer Oxford Station Phase 2 Improvements page.

A final decision on the application for a TWAO is expected from the Department for Transport in the early part of 2022.

Level crossing closures

The Oxford corridor is a key freight route from the port of Southampton to the Midlands and the north. Increasing demand for rail freight services means more train paths are required. More trains on the line would increase the risk at two level crossings along the route at Sandy Lane and Yarnton Lane.

Therefore, to reduce level crossing risk, improve safety and reduce instances of misuse, these level crossings need to be closed. Closing the crossings would allow us to provide capacity for an additional two freight trains per hour, additional Birmingham to Oxford services, and increased maintenance access and safety improvements. Options for closing the two crossings are currently being considered.

Contact us

If you have any questions or require more information about the scheme, you can email us at: OxfordPhase2@networkrail.co.uk

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