THE proposed re-opening of a rail link between High Wycombe and Oxford has led to calls for the return of the disused line between the town and Maidenhead.

Chiltern Railways’ £200m plan to run trains between London Marylebone and Oxford via High Wycombe - featured in Midweek last week -“reinforces the case” for the line to re-open, they said.

Elsa Woodward, of the High Wycombe Society’s transport group, said there is “no realistic public transport” between the towns and the line should be put into action again after lying dormant for 38 years.

She also said the 2001 census showed commuters between the town and Maidenhead was eight times greater than those travelling from the town to Oxford.

Yet a recent transport study showed the move would be “achievable with very little demolition” she said.

The light-railway could run from High Wycombe to Maidenhead including Bourne End, she said.

Trains presently run from Bourne End to Marlow and Maidenhead - but not High Wycombe - leading for the conservation charity to call for the line to be put into use again.

Mrs Woodward said: “Motorists will not get out of their cars for buses but they will for trams. The beauty of light rail is that it is accessible.

“With oil prices going up, people are turning to public transport and it is ridiculous that we have these old links and we do not have public transport between the towns.”

The proposal was welcomed by Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council.

Julia Langley, chairman of the council, said: “I think as far as the parish council is concerned, we would be very supportive of the line.”

An operator would need to be found to run the line.

However Chiltern Railways, which operates mainline services through south Bucks, has ruled itself out of the running.

Chiltern Railways spokesman Michael Scanlan said: “We do not have any plans regarding the line.

“We have looked at it and it would be impossible to run mainline trains along that line.

“Wycombe Society have talked about light-railway but we are only a mainline operator and it is not something which we can do.”