A small but perfectly formed terminal for entering and exiting the fine city of Oxford, this train station has great amenities but doesn't think it's a shopping mall like many city stations seem to.
A compact M&S food shop is perfect for travelling snacks plus there's a cafe with seats outside so you can wait in comfort for your train. I travelled in to and out of Oxford on a Saturday and it didn't seem busy at all, maybe the problems my fellow reviewers have experienced are more of a weekday thing?
A bit hit and miss, if you turn up just as the number 5 bus has unloaded, it can take up to 20mins to queue for your ticket! Recently installed ticket machines have helped somewhat.
The station has had a bit of a facelift recently, though it still remains difficult to buy tickets for travel in the future as there is no travel centre. There are a number of cafes and a newsagents, as typical of many train stations.
There is plenty of parking outside for cycles, though beware leaving yours for too long especially if it's a nice bike as these can often be stolen.
Public transport links are good, though the buses in Oxford are expensive, with a single costing close to 2 pounds. If you're only going to the city centre to see the University, I would recommend walking, as it won't take more than 15 mins. Just ask for directions!
The only station in the country where the staff think they're night club bouncers. Not in any way focussed on customer satisfaction.
Example: I was late for my train, which was about to leave. I knew my ticket wouldn't work through the electric barrier, so I approached the guy at the entrance gate. He refused to check my ticket and let me through, even though he was already holding the gate open for someone else. I had to demonstrate to him how the ticket wouldn't work though the gate. I missed my train as a result, and got home an hour later.
The very next day, I saw the same member of staff letting a young woman through, no questions asked, and then leering after her with his colleagues.
Total professionals then.
Oh and the toilets stink as well.
I don't like this station. Is is quite small and lacking in amenities considering the significance and size of the town it serves. Also the location is not very handy for the centre or in particularly pleasant as an area. I suppose it could be worse, because it is easily walk-able.
Easy to access by bicycle with lots of bike parking (though it's easy to forget exactly where you've left yours). There's a frequent direct bus service from Cowley where I live, or it's a short walk from the city centre. There's 20 mins free parking right by the station entrance for pick up and set down, which is very handy. I haven't used the commuter parking. The station is small, and currently being refurbished. A few kiosks for coffee, smoothies, Millies cookies, Upper Crust, WH Smith, and tourist information. Not many places to sit. Can be long queues for the ticket office, but always best to book online in advance if possible - £4 single to London, which is even cheaper than the coach. Train punctuality can be a problem on the West coast line.
Railway stations...a necessary evil and rarely a fun experience, and one of those strange places which are best if you don't really notice them. Sadly, Oxford railway station is one which is hard to ignore and to forget. Let's start with the positives: access is excellent; it has its own circular road leading to it, with excellent bus connection round Oxford and to other cities; there are always taxis queuing outside, and there are lots and lots of bike racks, including some undercover ones. If you travel by car, things are a little more complicated, with parking prices painfully high in an attempt to discourage shoppers from taking advantage of the car park's location. There's some complicated payment system involving text messages, which seems to work half the time and not the rest. The queues for tickets are usually relatively short, which is surprising, considering the amount of time it takes to buy a ticket. Perhaps people who have experienced The Queue soon learn to use the ticket machines instead (which I would definitely recommend unless you have a student/OAP railcard). When I last went, they were renovating the ticket office, so there were signs apologising for delays, but that's certainly no excuse for only having 2 members of staff dealing with reservations and tickets during peak travelling times. So, assuming you've arrived 30 minutes in advance of your travelling time and got a ticket, what else is there to do? There are some nice little cafes and places to sit, clean toilets and stands with free Metro newspapers. There are lots of staff to ask about trains and directions, and there's a comprehensive timetable if you can squeeze by the side of the barriers where staff tend to gather. I advise taking a book and a bundle of patience, and using the ticket machine.
Kind of small considering how big Oxford is, but decent enough, with the usual Marks and Spencer/WH Smith/pasty shop amenities and regular services to London Paddington
unfriendly station staff , cold and beggers constantly aski.g for money. Not the nicest of places to wait while your train is late, which you know it will be. enough said.
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