Renaming Bicester Town station

CR wish to rename the station “Bicester Village”, against the wishes expressed at a local meeting. They have contrived their own survey to overcome objections.

BTAG have posted an online survey in which you can express your own view.

I don’t think any private company should be allowed to rename places or public amenities, even when they’re paying to rebuild them. Anyway, it’s not a ‘village’, or anything like one; it’s a shopping mall.

The current name is appropriate and will have meaning to any traveller planning a journey :  it’s the station closest to the town of Bicester. Renaming it after a shopping mall will be misleading. There is no village called Bicester.

Bicester Town station layout

I have learned a little more from NR about the station ay Bicester Town.  Below is the current drawing of the station environment.

BT Station layout

There will be two shelters on the southern platform and a 60m canopy on the northern one, with seating running the full length. The main building will also have an indoor waiting room and café.

There will be two bus-stops close by, each with a canopy/shelter.

I am still waiting to hear about the much needed provision of shelter while waiting for replacement buses during construction.

Bicester Traffic Action Group

A new group has formed in Bicester, dedicated to improving transport within the town.

Their main focus is the congestion caused by Bicester Village, the London Road crossing (once service on the new line increases) and new development.

OBRAG supports the new TAG, given the difficulty Bicester folk already have in getting to/from Bicester Town Station, never mind the serious deterioration we can expect in the next few years.  There seems to be a complete absence of transport planning, with no effective cross-town cycle paths (existing or planned), no response to the inevitable rise in traffic caused by new development and the blockage that the London Road crossing will become.  It’s not bad planning, more no planning.

BTAG is currently calling for objections to yet another expansion of Bicester Village, until such time as a credible transport plan exists in response.

Personally I’ve had better luck talking to a wall than to Oxford County Council about transport, so I wish ‘em luck.

OBRAG AGM 2015 (Summary)

OBRAG 2015 AGM was held in the Terrace Room, Islip Village Hall, on Tuesday 20th January 2015.

In attendance : 19, including the Chairman of the CR Passenger Board

 1 Chairman’s report

Summarised the grand success of achieving a timetable proposal which provides a useful service at Islip.  Highlighted remaining problems :

  • prior to opening :
  • lack of parking at both Islip and Bicester
  • lack of any shelter at Bicester Town
  • lack of adequate information concerning either new station
  • inadequate return service from Oxford after a 5.30pm finish at work.

All these have been brought to the attention of CR.

2 Nomination/election of officers and approval of accounts

No new committee members were proposed.  The current Chairman (Ian East) and Secretary (Henrietta Leyser) agreed to remain for another year.  Jon Spinage and Linda O’Dell will stand down.  They are thanked for their work over the years.

An attendee – Margie Salussolia – inspected the OBRAG account and approved.

3 Future representation on the CRPB

A call was made for a volunteer to act as committee member representing Islip and Bicester Town stations on the CR Passenger Board.  One person is considering this position but was unable to attend the meeting due to a work commitment.

It was proposed that the interests of all travel from/to these stations should be represented, but not those via either Oxford station.  However, the latter would currently remain open to any candidate.

4 Announcement

Following a request by FGW, it was announced that the main line between Didcot and Hayes will close for engineering works at Easter, from 3rd to 12th April.

 5 Open discussion

An Islip resident reported that they had been informed by someone from the Project that work has fallen ten weeks behind because of an error laying drainage.

Concern was expressed about the following :

  •  vibration from passing freight trains (in particular)
  • the loss of foliage and habitat along the route
  • the nature of the barrier alongside the path beside Islip school
  • delay imposed by changing at Water Eaton, after opening of service north
  • when service would resume into Oxford Central.

The chairman pointed out that all matters concerning the impact of works on Islip are the proper concern of Islip Parish Council, and that neither OBRAG nor CR could effect much regarding the last two.  CR are not obliged to continue bus service once rail service resumes, nor can they justify the expense it would incur.  Delays in reopening service south of Water Eaton are in the hands of NR and their contractors.