A quarter of a million journeys by car have been taken off Oxford’s roads by the opening of Oxford Parkway station
Bicester Village station has seen 4.5 million passengers make journeys through the station.
Today (25 October) marks three years since Chiltern Railways began running services from Oxford Parkway, Islip and Bicester Village stations - and Chiltern’s passenger numbers along the new line are continuing to grow.
At the three-year mark, seven million journeys have been made on the new line with 2.5 million passengers travelling through Oxford Parkway, meanwhile, Bicester Village station - the gateway to one of the UK’s most popular destinations for overseas visitors - has also seen 4.5 million passengers make journeys through the station.
In addition, a report by the DfT on ‘Economic Impacts of new or improved rail lines’ released early this year referenced rail survey data from Oxford Parkway and showed that before the station opened 10% reported they previously made the trip by car and that now 19% were making new trips they did not make previously.
These results showed the difference the station was making to travel in Oxfordshire and how a quarter of a million journeys by car have been taken off Oxford’s roads.
The landmark improvement to regional transport was the result of a £320 million investment with Network Rail that also delivered the first phase of East West Rail.
When it launched the net economic impact to the area was expected to be over £456 million; driven by improved access to employment, wider commutable areas and the business productivity and competition benefits offered by the new route.
Nigel Tipple - Chief Executive of OxLEP - said: “We are delighted that Oxford Parkway has demonstrated such a positive economic impact, not just to Oxfordshire, but also the wider UK economy too.
"We are one of just three county areas that are net contributors of business rates to the exchequer, generating £23billion GVA a year to the UK economy. Ensuring people can move freely, connect easily and provide the services to support a dynamic economy is critical. Oxford Parkway has played its part in achieving such positive growth, supporting many businesses – often with a global reach – to thrive.
“The number of passengers using the Chiltern line is impressive too – particularly the 4.5million international visitors making journeys through Bicester Village station, further boosting a visitor economy that’s worth over £2billion a year to Oxfordshire."
Dave Penney - Managing Director of Chiltern Railways - said: “It is three years since we launched services between Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village station and London Marylebone and passenger numbers continue to grow.
"The route is performing ahead of expectations but it’s hearing the positive difference the line has made to our customer’s lives that brings me the most satisfaction. These stations have given people choice, taken cars off the road and provided real benefits for those living and working in the region.”
Martin Frobisher - Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s London North Western route - said: “This new route was built as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and working with Chiltern Railways meant we were able to provide passengers with the first new connection between London and a major city for more than 100 years. It provides travel options, relieves traffic from roads and boosts the regional economy – exactly what the railway is about.”
Pictured: Customer Ambassador, Adil Lone at Oxford Parkway.