Ascott-under-Wychwood residents will once again be able to leave the car at home and take a train to go shopping or enjoy a day out in the run-up to Christmas, thanks to special Saturday stops at the village’s station.
Train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) has agreed to provide the extra stops in late November and December at the request of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, which is campaigning for the reinstatement of regular Saturday services at the station.
These were withdrawn in 2006, leaving the village with just one weekday peak train into Oxford and one back, but Saturday services arranged ahead of Christmas in 2011-13 and last year have proved popular, with residents going shopping in Oxford and London or visiting Worcester’s annual Victorian Christmas Fayre.
The CLPG hopes another good response by villagers – and visitors who want a car-free day out in the Wychwoods area – will eventually lead to the reinstatement of Saturday trains all year round and provision of more weekday services at the station.
This would boost public transport for the village after the loss of the X33 bus link with Burford (with connections for Witney) this July, as a result of Oxfordshire County Council ending subsidies for bus services.
CLPG chairman John Ellis said:
I am delighted that GWR has again agreed to make extra stops at Ascott in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The CLPG believes that there is a substantial suppressed demand for additional regular services to and from Oxford and London. “Good take-up of the Christmas stops will be important in demonstrating that demand and I hope that local residents will again turn out in good numbers.
The following trains will stop at Ascott-under-Wychwood station on Saturdays November 26 and December 3, 10 and 17:
- The 7.10 am from Hereford to London Paddington will call at 9 am. The train is due to arrive in Oxford at 9.25 am and London at 10.25am.
- The 11.21 am from London to Worcester and Great Malvern, which leaves Oxford at 12.23 pm, will call at Ascott at 12.48 pm
- The 3.21 pm from London to Great Malvern (4.23 pm from Oxford) will call at Ascott at 4.45 pm.
- In addition, on November 26 only, the 5.49 pm from Great Malvern to London (6.02 pm from Worcester Foregate Street station) will call at Ascott at 6.59 pm, allowing people to enjoy an afternoon out at Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre by catching the 12.48 pm departure from Ascott, which reaches Worcester Foregate Street at 1.44 pm.