A SECOND entrance to Oxford’s train station could be built in the future, as a glimpse of a new ‘master plan’ for the railway hub has been revealed.

At the start of the month, it was announced that a new master plan would be drawn up setting out how Oxford’s train station would be expanded in the future.

Now, documents shared in public have shown some detail of what this plan would include.

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Upgrades to Oxford station would include a second entrance building to the west of the railway tracks – on top of the current station building to the east; as well as widening of the Botley Road with a replacement rail bridge over it, and a new ‘platform 5’ plus buildings.

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A bridge north of the station which passes over a waterway called the Sheepwash Channel would also be replaced.

A letter from Network Rail attached to the plans said they would ‘provide additional capacity to the station’, allowing for faster train journeys and more trains stopping in Oxford.

The glimpse of what the master plan may include comes from documents shared between Oxford City Council, Cherwell District Council, and railways’ body Network Rail.

The two councils are taking part in a ‘scoping exercise’ on the plans at the moment, with the city asking for Cherwell’s opinions on the plans on behalf of Network Rail.

According to a map included with the scoping exercise, the Youth Hostel Association on Botley Road would be demolished to make way for a new western station entrance.


The YHA pictured in 2016 with managers Nick Clements and Ben Atwell. Picture: Lucy Ford

A new YHA building would be built on Roger Dudman Way, the side street which runs north of the current hostel’s location.

The footbridge over Botley Road to the railway station would also be replaced under the plans according to the map.

This was supported by a design drawing released by the city council at the start of August, which appeared to show a new footbridge outside the station.

And a nursery run by the Co-Operative may have to be temporarily moved in the future to allow for works at the Sheepwash Channel railway bridge.

To allow for all the works to take place, the car park on Beckett Street would be transformed into a base for construction workers.

There have been plans to transform the station dating back almost a decade which have also been tied to master plans for the area around it.


A map showing some of Network Rail's proposals for Oxford station. Picture: Network Rail

Oxford City Council has plans to redevelop what it calls the West End of the city as part of its recently approved Local Plan, and a new station would fit into this regeneration scheme.

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But the changes to the station are also important to travellers as well – as they fit in with Network Rail’s plans to make Oxford a regional hub for trains by making upgrades to the lines that run through Oxfordshire.

This in turn, would help long term ambitions like the Cowley Branch Line, and East West Rail Link between Oxford and Cambridge to go ahead.

Though the works sound like a series of large-scale changes, Oxford City Council said it expected to carry them out in a series of ‘incremental’ stages rather than all at once.

The scoping exercise represents the very early stages of behind the scenes work to make the new station building a reality.

The city council has said it hopes to start asking residents opinions on a new railway station in the autumn through a public consultation exercise.