Sir – I refer to Richard Stow’s letter (Station parking, Gazette, December 9).

In these austere times, housing developments are the only way to fund much-needed infrastructure investment. The proposal for 120 new homes adjacent to Hanborough station will fund the land needed for 400 parking spaces for West Oxfordshire rail users. They will complement rail industry plans for the station and route.

The advice given by the West Oxfordshire District Council’s policy manager about the sustainability of the site demonstrates inconsistency across the district.

For example, Chipping Norton is one of three towns planned to take the greater number of new homes. Around 300 houses are now being built here, with a further 600 allocated to a location further away from the town and its shops than Hanborough station is from its village, and to where the hill is steeper to climb.

Car use for local shopping will be inevitable, along with significant landscape impact, the very arguments used against the proposals for Hanborough. I am happy for these new homes to be built in our town because of the housing shortage, particularly for young working families.

From a transport perspective the Chipping Norton site is much less sustainable than Long Hanborough. Our only commercial bus services each take an hour to reach Oxford and Banbury. The Hanborough site adjoins the railway station providing a journey time to Oxford of nine minutes.

The 233 bus through Hanborough has no Oxfordshire County Council subsidies and, given more houses, Stagecoach could double its frequency, connect with the trains and give good links from Witney’s new housing estates.

Development of Hanborough station will create exciting possibilities for higher frequency direct electrified rail services across Oxford and beyond which will, with the bus service improvements, better serve West Oxfordshire residents and reduce the pressure on the A4095 and the A40.

Nigel Rose
London Road
Chipping Norton