Here is my own summary of what was said at the meeting at Islip Village Hall on Tuesday 21st of October. I cannot be sure I’ve included everything, and in any case seek only a summary. If you feel something is missing then please add a reply below.
I shall raise the issues which arose with Chiltern at a meeting with their Business Development Manager next week (30th), and will post a summary of that afterwards.
Village Railway Meeting – notes
Islip Village Hall, Tuesday, 21st October, 7.30 to 9pm
Hosted by Ian East, chairman of the Oxford-Bicester Rail Action Group (OBRAG).
Approx. 40 in attendance.
Ian introduced himself and OBRAG, and summarised the history and current situation, including planned opening dates, the timetable at Islip proposed by Chiltern, the rôle of the CRPB and the current consultation, which ends on 7th November, together with the current OBRAG response.
The latter is intended to prioritise service at Islip according to function :
1 commuting to/from Oxford (and points south)
2 shopping and entertainment in Oxford and Bicester
3 commuting to/from High Wycombe and London
4 all other purposes in Wycombe and London.
Request for support
Ian requested, and was given, the support of the assembly for the demand that Chiltern :
– honour their public offer of eight tpd
– offer a timetable at Islip which is actually useful, unlike their current proposal.
Contributions from the floor
Timetable and service level
1 Agreed that the current timetable is useless and that Oxford access the primary concern.
RF delegate promised to raise this with OCC at forthcoming meeting.
2 Agreed that Chiltern should be held to their promise of eight trains per day (tpd; each way).
3 Strong support was given, by a number of residents, for an effective London service.
Agreed (~7 attendees) that an early morning departure essential.
06.48 dep from OXP the preferred option.
RF delegate suggested that the best chance lies in requesting one London train each way, in this regard.
4 One attendee argued that the gap in the service proposed by OBRAG between 07.19 and 13.42 far too great.
Noted that this concern lies in conflict with that of 3.
Noted that resolution possible by replacing late return from Oxford with mid-morning service. (No concern was expressed at the loss of a late Oxford return.)
Noted that an associated concern is for discounted (later) travel to London (using discount cards).
5 Someone suggested ignoring CR proposal and campaigning for approximate reinstatement of previous timetable (11tpd).
Ian pointed out that CR have many pressing concerns to meet and were unlikely to respond to that. 4tpd were funded via planning gain, which may be exhausted. (Ian is endeavouring to ascertain the truth.) CR are unlikely to completely rework their proposed timetable to suit Islip, even though we’ve been robbed.
6 Concern was expressed that a departure for Oxford be included that is early enough to support commuting beyond Oxford (Swindon, Reading etc.)
Concerns other than timetable
7 Two attendees expressed concern that Islip may face significant additional nuisance parking as a result of good service at Islip Station, especially a London service.
Ian responded that 1) the greater population nearby is actually nearer Water Eaton, where 2) a far better service can be found, and 3) parking is expected to be no dearer. He added that it cannot make sense, after such investment, to deliberately plan poor service to this end. Both traffic and parking in Islip are already problems for other reasons, and constitute a concern which can be addressed by local authorities.
It was clear that a significantly greater number of attendees desired a good service (including London).
8 Some attendees, who lived near the station, were appalled at the total lack of consultation and information regarding the construction there.
There is no relevant information on the www.bicestertooxfordcollaboration.com site, not even a picture of the new station building.
Many trees have been felled, exposing a number of properties, without due warning.