How East West Rail would benefit Bicester

East West Rail would make it easier to connect with other parts of the UK and get around the local area with affordable connections, easing congestion on local roads. A new rail link would increase the opportunity to travel for work, while stimulating employment locally ​and supporting plans to improve the town centre. 

Bicester would benefit from the region’s uplift and be better connected to a market of nearly four million people. The new railway would create economic opportunity for everyone, which could be worth over £100 billion in additional value every year by 2050. 

    East West Rail would make it easier to travel by train with affordable, regular services through Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bedford and across the regionmaking everyday journeys much easier.  

    With more frequent and affordable direct services to Oxford and Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Bedford, EWR would mean less congestion on Bicester’s busy roads and better air quality – making everyday journeys like the school-run, shopping trips and local appointments more pleasant.

    A new rail link would bring regular, fast and affordable transport to Bicester with trains that connect communities across the region from east to west.

    EWR would connect to most of the north-south main lines making it easier to get to the rest of the UK from Bicester, bringing family, friends and days out closer. Enjoy the UK’s most-loved destinations by train, from a country escape in East Anglia to the mediaeval streets of York. Easy interchange with other train lines also means better connections to UK airports such as Luton, Stansted and Birmingham, making overseas destinations more accessible.

    EWR would provide new direct connections to Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge, as well as twice as many trains to Oxford. Better connections would provide Bicester residents with better access to  jobs and opportunities at all levels across the region, while attracting more employers to the area which would help Bicester and the town centre thrive.  

    One of our aims is to foster inclusive, local economic growth, giving communities improved access to education and skills with both local and national opportunities. 

What work is required in the Bicester area?

    We’re undertaking further studies and technical assessments of three potential options for London Road level crossing in order to identify the best solution.

    Works to connect the railway between Bicester and Bletchley is almost complete and the Department for Transport is currently in the process of procuring an operator to run these services from 2025. 

    We’re continuing work to identify the most suitable locations for passing loop between Oxford and Bletchley which would allow faster trains to overtake slower stopping services safely.

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Why are we proposing this work?

We recognise that London Road level crossing provides a vital route for people to get into the town centre on foot, by bicycle, public transport and car. Once all EWR services are introduced on the line, the barriers are expected to be down for a significant portion in every hour. At the 2021 public consultation we explored a number of concepts at the crossing to keep the town connected and minimise inconvenience, and aiming to improve safety, enable a faster, reliable train service, and reduce traffic disruption. 

Thanks to community feedback, alongside further studies, five of the six concepts presented at the 2021 consultation have been ruled out. Whilst we’ve yet to confirm a preferred solution, we’re now investigating: 

  • The potential to maintain the existing crossing for local traffic. To do this, we are looking at the service patterns on this section of the line, as well as possible enhancements at the level crossing. This would most likely require highways works in the vicinity of the crossing to discourage use by non-local traffic.
  • The possibility of a new road bridge south or east of the level crossing. We’re working with local stakeholders to identify a suitable location for a new road bridge and exploring the feasibility of using a type of bridge that is constructed off-site and then moved into position using a crane to minimise disruption.
  • Accessible routes to cross the railway for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised local traffic. We know how important it is to maintain connections for pedestrians and cyclists and the options we’re exploring include an accessible overbridge at or near the current level crossing; an accessible underpass at or near the current level crossing; and an accessible overbridge that crosses the railway at another location. 

We’re undertaking further studies and technical assessments of these options to identify our preferred option for the London Road level crossing and we’ll present our findings for comment at the statutory consultation. 


East West Rail - Borders Rail Case Study
East West Rail - East Meets West
East West Rail - CS1 Track Laying Completion
East West Rail - See how EWR would make it easier to get out and about across the UK
East West Rail - YQA Bicester Community Drop-In July 2023
East West Rail - Unlocking the Science Supercluster
East West Rail - Our Ecological Compensation Sites
East West Rail - Transforming everyday journeys

Documents & factsheets

  • Benefits of East West Rail factsheet
  • Freight factsheet
  • Our approach to the environment factsheet
  • Route Update Report


  • Area around London Road level crossing
  • East West Rail preferred route
  • Existing route from Oxford Parkway to Bicester

Meet your community engagement team

Here at EWR Co, we’re passionate about hearing what local representatives and their communities think about East West Rail. It means we can work together as we build a successful project that will deliver shorter journey times, lower transport costs and ease pressure on local roads while bringing people closer to the things that matter most – jobs, friends and family.

Meet your Community Engagement Manager, Gail Buckland and your Local Representatives Groups Engagement Manager, Sarah Jacobs.

Head over to our community hub where we’ve set up 15 Local Representatives Groups in all areas along the route where we will deliver EWR and have a dedicated page to our events.

Find out more
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Upcoming events

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Community conversations

9 May 2024
Weyland Hall, 8-10 North Street, Bicester OX26 6ND

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Statutory consultation

Summer 2024

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Latest stories

We're delivering EWR over several stages. This includes:

  • Upgrading an existing section of railway between Oxford and Bicester  
  • Bringing back a section of railway between Bicester and Bletchley  
  • Refurbishing existing railway between Bletchley and Bedford  
  • Building brand new railway infrastructure between Bedford and Cambridge 

East West Rail trains are expected to start running between Oxford and Bletchley/Milton Keynes in 2025, with services extending across the route in the coming years – following planning approvals and construction of the new railway.

What’s next? 

We expect trains to start running on this section of the railway to Bletchley/Milton Keynes in late 2025. To build and operate a railway which would extend services from Oxford beyond Bletchley/Milton Keynes, we need to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) and as part of this are required to carry out a statutory consultation. We are carrying out consultation over two stages, the first of which we expect to take place this summer.

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