THE news that Long Hanborough rail station could get an £8m upgrade can be nothing but positive.

With the A40 clearly overstretched, anything that can be done to ease the pressure on it can only be good.

As the recent expansion of the station’s car park demonstrated, people will use the station if the facilities are there, and it could easily become one of the most vital transport links into Oxford.

Hopefully, if transport bosses are switched on to the potential for change, it could be just a first step in upgrading the Cotswold Line, so services can run much more frequently. However, the danger with this is it will simply create another congestion hotspot around Long Hanborough and move traffic from one place to another.

A long-term solution clearly needs to be thought to Witney and even beyond. Whether this be a tram line along the A40, or a complete reopening of the old branch line railway, planners needs to consider how things will develop in the long term rather than looking for a short-term fix.

The Hanborough scheme only partially offers an alternative to our congested roads so we must keep looking forward.