Liberal Democrat County Councillors John Howson and Jean Fooks have written to the Oxford Mail about investment in railways in Oxford
We are pleased about investment in the railways, taking to move freight off roads, but this means much greater activity on existing lines, some of which in Oxford, run alongside homes, from the station through Jericho to Wolvercote, where the former branch line to Bicester is to become part of a busy East-West route. We understand people's concerns about the impact on their lives.
The City Council seems to have very limited powers to reduce the noise and vibration from both passenger and, more importantly, freight trains. One way to improve the situation is for Network Rail to build the flyover, said to be needed for future rail capacity, further north than currently proposed, so it is built north of the A40. This would remove trains from Upper Wolvercote completely.
Sadly the Conservative-run County Council withdrew the rail strategy from the new Local Transport Plan; when re-written it should consider this option as it would benefit residents.
For people south of Wolvercote we expect that Nicola Blackwood MP, who promised to stand up for residents, to put much greater pressure on Network Rail to provide noise barriers and to replace as much as possible of the vegetation removed by Network Rail.
The Labour-run City Council has failed to listen to the concerns of residents along the railway in both the St Margaret's and Summertown divisions.
Both Councils and the MP should be doing all they can to ensure that their constituents are protected from the downside of increased rail investment.
Cllr John Howson
Cllr Jean Fooks
Lib Dem County Councillors
Oxfordshire County Council