Long Hanborough Rail Sub Group Launched

The Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, and the Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, Cllr James Mills have convened the first meeting of the Hanborough Station Sub-Group of the North Cotswold Line Task Force.

The Task Force brings together the five county councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships covering the 86-mile route between Hereford, Worcester and Oxford, together with the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, and is attended by Network Rail and the Great Western Railway.

In January 2020, the Task Force submitted its case to government for a doubled two trains per hour North Cotswold Line service between Worcestershire, Oxford and London and this is now being assessed by the Department for Transport and Network Rail. In parallel, the Task Force set out its aspirations for additional local trains as a metro-style service between Hanborough and Oxford to support West Oxfordshire housing growth, the visitor economy and to encourage a shift from road to rail for journeys to Oxford or London.

The Sub-Group will develop the case for these local services, plans for expanded passenger facilities at Hanborough Station, and engage with local stakeholders and communities.

Ian Hudspeth said “The Task Force’s proposals for the North Cotswold Line will make the rail offer more attractive to West Oxfordshire people. I am delighted the Sub-Group will bring us and the rail industry together to plan ahead for a bigger and better role for Hanborough Station.

James Mills said “West Oxfordshire is growing and vibrant. More frequent rail services and an enhanced Hanborough Station will help us to grow sustainably, take pressure off our road network, and support our vital visitor sector including the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site.”

Tom Pierpoint, Commercial Development Director at Great Western Railway said: “It is clear that there will be a key role for rail to support the local and regional economy as we emerge from the challenges of the last couple of months. We look forward to working with the Task Force to develop proposals for Hanborough Station that match the ambition of the people and businesses of Oxfordshire."