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Oxford to Bicester rail track concern will be addressed
RAIL bosses have been invited to explain to Wolvercote residents how the area will be affected by the rebuilding of the Oxford to Bicester train line.
It has been organised by local county councillor Jean Fooks after a number of Wolvercote residents raised concerns about noise and vibrations from the work, which is expected to start from next month.
The new line is part of a £290m scheme to re-open the East-West rail link from Reading to Bedford, via Oxford, Bicester Town and Milton Keynes. It will also connect Oxford to London Marylebone via Kidlington, Bicester and High Wycombe.
Mrs Fooks said: “Residents in Wolvercote are worried about the noise and vibration nuisance to be expected when the new railway to Bicester is constructed and in use, as well as the ongoing work on the freight train lengthening project beside Wolvercote Common.
“The city council is responsible for ensuring that the conditions imposed by the planning permission for the Bicester line are fulfilled. These impose limits on both vibration and noise from trains on the new line.
“I have arranged for both Network Rail and Chiltern Railways to send representatives to a meeting in Wolvercote Village Hall.
“They will update residents on their plans and answer questions.
“Full details of the work will not be available for another couple of months but we need to hear where they have reached and when residents can expect a further update.”
Late last year Wolvercote residents were angered by the fact that Network Rail would be carrying out noisy work on a new freight line through the village over the Christmas period.
And the company’s felling of trees along Wolvercote Common to make way for the line has also sparked concern. In September it was confirmed that trains travelling through the village would be travelling at a minimum of 60mph – despite a lengthy campaign for lower speeds.
Wolvercote resident Graham Jones said: “There are still lots of concerns about noise and vibration and Network Rail has been so insistent that they should have that particular speed limit.
“But we are talking about a very small stretch and if they could drop the speed limit a little bit it would be very much welcomed.
“One recognises that we are having an expansion of the railways, which is good news, but there has got to be a balance.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are currently undertaking a noise and vibration study which we plan to publish in the next few months. Once we have that report we will share the findings with the local community.
“The meeting is an opportunity for us the hear local concerns about this issue but obviously we will continue talking to them once the report is published.”
The meeting takes place on Tuesday from 6-7.30pm.
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