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Rail matters

Hanborough Station Hanborough Station Photo: © Jane Tomlinson

Generally we support the expansion and extension of the rail network, which with careful planning will have a huge and positive impact on Oxfordshire.

Improved services carrying more people and more freight more frequently is good news, but we are always alert to mitigating any impact it will have on the countryside and the county in general. Make no mistake, we will not support a rail project if it's inappropriate.

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 (HS2) is the proposed new high speed rail service from London to Scotland via the West Midlands on an entirely new line. It would mean faster journeys featuring 250mph trains whizzing through our landscape. The proposed route clips Oxfordshire in four parishes - Godington, Newton Purcell, Finmere and Mixbury - and affects our neighbours in Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and the Chilterns.

Proposed route of HS2, more information and clickable map (from BBC website)

We oppose HS2 because we think other steps should be taken to improve infrastructure regionally and locally. Proposals for extra tunnelling on the new line will help but there are many more steps that can be taken to reduce impact, including landscaping and noise barriers, all of which will be critical for affected communities in Oxfordshire. We will press for the highest possible standards of design, least damaging to the countryside and the rural communities through which the railway passes, during the preparation of the detailed proposals to be brought before parliament. Our eyes will be especially focused on: a) the visual impact of the works in the landscape and the aesthetics of structures, b) noise nuisance and destruction of tranquil countryside, and c) the impact on wildlife and bio-diversity.

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