North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis joined Prime Minister David Cameron at the opening of Chiltern Railways’ new line between Oxford and London yesterday (Monday).
The service will run on the first new rail link between a major British city and London in more than 100 years and has cost £320 million.
The huge infrastructure project has seen the construction of one new station – Oxford Parkway – while two other stations have been completely rebuilt, including Bicester’s renamed ‘Bicester Village’ station.
Mrs Prentis travelled between Bicester Village and Oxford Parkway for the ceremony at which David Cameron officially opened the line, describing it as “an historic moment” for Oxfordshire. She and Mr Cameron then took the train to London Marylebone via Bicester.
With two new fast trains per hour throughout the day between Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village station and London Marylebone, the line has been widely welcomed by residents of Oxford and North Oxfordshire.
Speaking after the opening ceremony, Mrs Prentis said, “I am thrilled that Oxfordshire was the county to benefit from this investment. This new route will be a fantastic boost for North Oxfordshire too. Not only will local people be able to get to London more quickly and conveniently, but the line will enable many more tourists and visitors to travel between London, Oxford and Bicester Village.
“This level of infrastructure investment is great for our area, and I thank Chiltern Railways for their work. I know Bicester residents will be glad the work is complete, and will see the benefits of this investment in Bicester in the years to come.”