‘Good case’ for station in village

East West rail plan

East West rail plan

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Experts claim there is a good business case for building a train station at Steeple Claydon as part of the East West Rail project.

The report from consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff said it would be feasible to provide a three trains per hour service at the station, which will be on the line between Winslow and Aylesbury and give a direct route to Milton Keynes.

Bucks County Council commissioned the report as part of its work to get mitigation for communities affected by HS2.

The report said ‘the site would be feasible at the safeguarded location east of Queen Catherine Road’ and that pedestrian and cycle access could be provided to workers at the HS2 construction compound and Calvert IMD maintenance depot.

A small car park of between 20 and 30 spaces is also proposed, however the report says this would require ‘detailed investigation.’

The report, which was presented to the latest meeting of Steeple Claydon Parish Council, also presented a business case for the station.

It stated demand for the station is forecast to be equivalent to approximately 60,000 journeys in the opening year (2019).

Demand would be mainly from people living within villages in the station’s catchment area, according to the report.

It estimates that a station facility would cost approximately £5m to construct.

It concludes that the net result is a positive initial ‘Benefits to Cost Ratio (BCR)’.

It adds that if a compensation package can be secured from HS2 to contribute to the station, the initial BCR rises significantly and therefore represents ‘high’ value for money.

Parish councillor Natasha Thiebaut said: “The parish council is extremely pleased with the results of the feasibility report and is fully committed to supporting Bucks County Council in progressing proposals and a petition for developing the station as an integral part of the HS2 mitigations.”

Parsons Brinkerhoff will be doing further work on the feasibility study to support Bucks County Council ahead of a submission to the House of Commons HS2 select committee in the autumn.

This will propose that HS2 should pay the estimated £5 million cost of a station on East West Rail as part of the high speed line’s compensation and mitigation package.

The East-West rail scheme was due to be completed by December 2017, but it is now due to be completed by March 2019.

Construction on phase one of the project from Oxford to Bicester has already started.