Businesses, local authority representatives and transport officials attended the official opening of a new multi-storey car park at Didcot Parkway Station.
The development is expected to unlock significant economic opportunities south of Oxford.
The car park, which forms part of an improvement programme of Didcot station as a key gateway to Science Vale, was officially opened by Didcot and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey.
“I am delighted to have been able to open the new car park at Didcot Parkway, built with Growth Fund money allocated by the Government,” said Mr Vaizey.
“It means that we can now confidently encourage car drivers to switch to greener, more environmentally-friendly electric rail services, knowing that there will be space in the car park.”
The development has been part-funded by the government’s Local Growth Fund, with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The overall cost of the project was £23m.
Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “Creating the infrastructure to support transport, people and businesses in all communities is absolutely vital if we want them to grow and thrive which is why the Didcot Station car park, made possible by £9.5 million of Local Growth Fund investment, is so important.”
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, said: “As the local enterprise partnership for Oxfordshire, we want to ensure our county benefits from an infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose, supporting dynamic economic growth.
“Assets such as Milton Park, Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre – all a short distance from Didcot Parkway – are vital, not just for the Oxfordshire economy, but nationally too. This development will help to unlock further opportunities, many of international significance.”
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood added: “Didcot Parkway is used by over three million customers every year and offers quick and easy journeys to Oxford, Banbury, Reading and London.
“In the last year-and-a-half, we have introduced two new fleets of trains for customers travelling from Didcot, increasing the number of seats on board by up to almost 25 per cent per train.
“This December will also see us deliver the biggest timetable shake-up in over 40 years, providing even more seats and quicker journeys.”