Come and visit us at stand 17 on Sunday 25th June 2023 from 11am until 3pm.
We will be having a colouring competition with prizes to be won!! The winning prize is a family ticket to Didcot Railway Centre!!
Come and visit the Grove & Wantage Extravaganza this Saturday 17th June 2023 from 12 noon.
#WAGS (Wantage & Grove Station) Supporters will have stall at Grove Rugby Club, so pop by and say hi to us.
We will be holding a competition on the day for the best logo for the group with some little prizes to be won too.
#Grove #wantage #extravaganza #saturday #events
The S9 bus service is good to have for the Wantage & Grove community but in the last 13 years it is taking longer to travel to Oxford (Osney Island/Frideswide Square.
In my April 2023 example during the peak hours, it is taking S9 buses 6 minutes longer than in December 2010. Furthermore, the buses have very little traffic on the Botley road due to the road closure at Osney Island and passengers then have a short 0.3 mile walk to Frideswide Square which takes approximately 6 minutes.
So, a total time of 49 minutes to Oxford Station/Frideswide square.
The same journey by a proposed train from Wantage & Grove Parkway Station according to the 2018 study was around 32 minutes via Didcot Parkway and the onto Oxford Station. Thus, a time saving 17 minutes on current S9 bus journey times including the walking time from Osney to Frideswide Square/Oxford Station.
I will be watching this area with interest as our roads are becoming more congested with the growing population in this area and surrounding areas, especially as some OCC forecasts estimate 42,511 living in this area by 2031 and an estimated 2,000 jobs at Grove Business Park which is within close- proximity of the proposed Parkway station.
Another way of looking at this is cost to businesses and most importantly the employees as an extra 17 minutes over the average working year (211 days) equates to an extra 3,587 minutes multiply this again due to the return journey home 7,174 minutes or an extra 119.5 hours travelling by S9 bus into Oxford or 3 working weeks travelling by bus into Oxford from Grove. If I assume the average living wage for Oxfordshire is £11.35/hour this has a cost of £1,356.33/person.
It’s has been a little difficult for me to find exact data of the community working locations, but some data suggest 64% of our population work outside of Wantage & Grove, with around 36% working in the local area.
So, assuming 3,000 constituents from Wantage & Grove use the train into Oxford, this has an economic saving to community of over £4 million- per year by travelling by train rather than the S9 bus.
It is good bus fares are being supported by the Government, but this is coming at a cost of £200 million to all of us. Yes, it’s good to help households on low incomes but the Government could apply a similar scheme to opening railway stations and putting a cap on rail fares too.
The Railway Development
Thames Valley Branch
I am delighted to welcome WAGSSG (Wantage and Grove Station Supporters Group) as
an affiliate of Raifuture, and practically this branch, as you are aware the Branch has
understood the need to restore Grove and Wantage to the Railway Network for the last 40
However in recent years, the need has become more urgent and it may be helpful to set out
below why this is and the benefits to local people and the UK economy generally, together
with the obvious benefits of reducing car use, and reducing carbon output.
I note in a survey the plan has over 90% local support, a truly remarkable figure.
As you are aware SLC Rail, did a detailed study in this matter for Oxfordshire County Council
in 2018, and came to the following conclusion: - “The initial assessment shows that a new Wantage and Grove station could be viable with a
Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.48 – i.e. a return of £2.48 for every £1 spent on the scheme. This is regarded as ‘high value for money’ by the Department for Transport.”
I have asked our independent transport economist, to look again at the figures and give an
indication of the current position, as there have been significant changes since 2018, he has
replied :- “I would expect the station to achieve 2.1 Million passengers per annum, 1m will come from Swindon, Didcot and Newbury and be existing travellers, currently driving on busy single carriageway roads, with all the attendant risks and delays this brings, but significantly 1.1 million passengers will be new to rail, and based on the Oxford Parkway research , these will be those seeking to work in expanding service lead businesses, young people without cars and the socially disadvantaged seeking opportunity. This will lead to reduced traffic congestion by avoiding travelling to distant railheads, and many of the new passengers will be transfers from car use. It is noted the potential of the adjacent Grove Business Park can only be fully realised, as a Life science and technology hub, if the Railway Station Reopens.”
This clearly shows the strength of the business case, I note that 6000 new houses have been built in the area since 2018 and the recent expansion and reinvigoration of the Grove Business Park,
which is close by and will focus on life science and technology, further straighten the business case for re-opening.
Railfuture is committed to looking forward and it is clear, based on published data, for the next up to 18,000 houses will be built in the Station Catchment Area, and some 20000 jobs may be created in the area, as such the need for a station has never been grate and the business case has never been stronger, your campaign is clearly pushing at an open door.
Please look at the Railfuture Web Site for examples of the many successful station re-openings,400 at the last count, and rising.
Chairman – Thames Valley Branch – Railfuture.
Recent estimated data obtained from Oxfordshire County Council shows the population growth for Wantage, Grove and surrounding villages from 34,797 (2023) to 42,511 (2031). A population growth change of 7,714 in 8 years!
This increase is likely to place more traffic onto our already congested roads, but the reopening of Wantage and Grove Parkway Station could reduce the impact of vehicles on our roads by giving individuals the option of taking a sustainable electric train for business commutes or leisure purposes.
The Grove Business Park, located near Wantage, has been acquired by the Oxford Endowment Fund, and the new owners are planning to upscale the park by transforming it into a leading science and innovation hub. The new owners aim to turn it into a state-of-the-art facility that would help create a stimulating environment for businesses to grow and develop. The Oxford Endowment Fund has plans to improve the existing landscape, buildings, amenities and infrastructure of the Grove Business Park. The new development plan includes a proposal to add an additional 32,773 sq m of commercial floor space, with offices for businesses and research and development areas, to further the growth of the innovation hub.
The site of the park is a 32.72-acre space that consists of 17 properties and was previously used as a World War II airfield. Subsequent to that, the site has been used for research and development purposes. The owners of the Grove Business Park are investing in renovating the park’s infrastructure to bring it up to the highest possible standards. The Oxford Endowment Fund intends to achieve this through an ambitious program that includes further landscaping and improving the amenities available to businesses.
As part of their plans, the new owners of Grove Business Park have arranged for a public exhibition on Thursday, June 8, from 3 pm to 7 pm. The exhibition will take place at Boston House in the same park on Downsview Road. The purpose of this exhibition is to allow the public to get a glimpse of what is in store for the Grove Business Park in the near future. It is hoped that businesses and individuals alike will take this opportunity to see the new developments in progress and learn more about the future of the Grove Business Park and the potential opportunities it may offer to businesses in the Oxfordshire region.
It’s an exciting time for the Grove Business Park, and this step towards becoming a central hub for innovation is sure to drive growth in the region. The new development plans and additional commercial space will provide a golden opportunity for businesses to establish themselves in a vibrant environment that is tailor-made for growth and development. This transformation of Grove Business Park will create jobs and further enhance the scientific and innovative reputation of the region. The public exhibition is an opportunity not to be missed, and it is essential that businesses interested in this new development take advantage of this unique chance to explore new opportunities in a growing business park.
In conclusion, the Oxford Endowment Fund’s acquisition of the Grove Business Park has created a buzz in the Oxfordshire region. The fund aims to invest heavily in developing the park into a leading science and innovation hub. The new development plan includes significant commercial space that is sure to draw in businesses looking to grow in a stimulating environment. The planned improvements to the existing infrastructure and amenities will make this park one of the most innovative business parks in the country, driving growth in the region for years to come. The public exhibition on Thursday, June 8, is an opportunity for businesses to get involved, and it is essential that they take advantage of this. The exhibition will allow them to explore the new developments in progress and learn more about the future of Grove Business Park.
Source: Oxford Mail
Andy Holding of Wantage and Grove Station Supporters Group aspiration is to gain the support of as many stakeholders as possible, as this will help build the business case for the reopening of the former station in Grove.
It was good to meet David Johnston OBE MP who has tirelessly campaigned for the reopening of Wantage & Grove station, and he is continuing to do so.
We talked about the various challenges and the importance of people signing the petition.
We really need to keep the momentum going to be successful. So please sign the petition on Change.org or via the https://wantagegrovestationsupportersgroup.com website.
Is it me or are bus fares expensive?
Yesterday my wife and teenage daughter considered catching the bus from Wantage to Oxford but found the Stagecoach Oxfordshire S9 return bus fare to be a staggering £13.20!!
So, they then considered travelling by train from Didcot to Oxford with GWR as we have a railcard and found the return fare to be £6.35
If they travelled by Thames Travel bus with return fares from Didcot to Oxford it would have cost £9.50
Admittedly a train fare without a rail card from Didcot to Oxford would have been £11.25
Some might say a railcard is expensive at £30, but we collected and used our Tesco clubcard reward points, and it was only £10 for an annual family & friends railcard.
This is also just another reason why we need Wantage & Grove Parkway Station to reopen, as bus travel in Oxfordshire is very expensive!!
Yes, You read it right!! Turn every £1 in Tesco clubcard vouchers into £3.00 to use with 1-year Family & Friends Railcard, as well as other Railcard offers.
click on the link for more information: secure.tesco.com/clubcard/vouchers/1-year-family-friends-railcard/UK-009981.prd
Further to you recent email concerning the potential Wantage/Grove train station.
Cala Homes is in support of carbon reduction as a matter of principle. This green method of transportation would certainly go someway to reduce reliance on the car for commuting into Oxford and the wider area.
Therefore we support this potential development.