Passenger numbers soar

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Business is booming at Bicester’s railway stations after they recorded a total increase in passenger numbers of more than 150,000 in a year.

Figures released this week by the Office of Rail Regulation show the number of passengers stepping on and off trains at Bicester Town station rose from 157,446 in 2010-11 to 213,070 in 2011-12.

Bicester North station recorded an even larger increase last year, with the number of entries and exits rising from 1,227,590 in 2010-11 to 1,355,720 in 2011-12.

Chris Wright, secretary of the Oxon and Bucks Rail Action Committee, said rising passenger numbers around the country pointed to a “renaissance for rail”. He added: “Chiltern has been making great efforts and rail groups have been pushing for improvements.

“This reflects a general upturn in rail use which is obviously putting pressure on carriages, and means we will need new rolling stock. 
The Bicester Town line is going to be modernised, which will extend demand even further.”

Mr Wright said this week’s statistics were the highest railway figures he had seen in many years.