Summertown’s Sean Feeney had tried to halt the £130m scheme over its environmental impact. It was thought it could have put the scheme back two years.
Mr Feeney brought the case against the Government on the impact of nitrogen oxides on the Oxford Meadows Special Area of Conservation.
But Mr Justice Ouseley said Natural England – a Government executive agency – could enforce pollution measures.
Details here and here.
The application for judicial review of the TWA Order for the Evergreen 3 Phase Two project has been granted. The judgement is expected in a “couple of months”. Opinion is divided as to whether an appeal against a judgement in favour of the project is possible or not.
Chiltern Railways have undertaken to give its customers at least twelve weeks notice of closure. My math tells me that this means closure is now unlikely before August.
It remains unclear whether the Oxford Area Remodelling, starting in 2015 will or will not require continued closure of our line. While Chiltern’s Network Development Manager (Richard Harper) believes it will not, it is hard to see how Network Rail can manage all the construction with a service from Bicester into Oxford still running.
I’m afraid we will know only once an agreement is reached between the Department for Transport and NR later this year. I have asked Chiltern to represent our interests, which they insist they would do anyway. If NR demand possession of the line, it will remain closed until 2017 at least.
If you are concerned about this prospect then please write your MP. It’s all we can do.
Railfuture Thames Valley will hold their AGM in Bicester on Saturday 23rd March at 10.30 at the Bicester Methodist Church Hall. OBRAC (not OBRAG) will hold their AGM immediately afterwards.
Richard Harper, Head of Network Development for Chiltern Railways will give an update on the development of the Evergreen 3/EWR project, and hopefully be willing to answer some questions, especially concerning bustitution. (We should know by the 18th whether the project can go ahead.)
From Oxford or Islip, use the 09.28 from Oxford.
As you may have noticed – this Sunday (17th Feb) and next (24th), Chiltern are running a bus replacement service until 16:00. I have been informed that these buses will allow bicycles to be carried. If anyone has tried this, please comment here so that I can pass the feedback on to Chiltern Railways. This is an important test of how the service may operate during the closure of the line.
First, to summarise the current situation : a last-minute attempt to secure a judicial review of the decision to award the Transport & Works Order for the Evergreen/EWR project is unlikely to succeed. A decision is expected within 2-3 weeks. As long as it fails, the line will close in late April or early May for a period of two years. Service would resume in May 2015 BUT only between Water Eaton and Bicester Town. It is entirely unknown whether trains will then run all the way into Oxford because the effect of another project – “Oxford area remodelling” – is unknown. I have requested clarification on this, and other issues, from Network Rail. Continue reading