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Rail bosses postpone talks over natural beauty 'blight'

Network Rail has delayed a series of public exhibitions where it planned to reveal how it will improve the look of electrification gantries at the so-called "Goring Gap" an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Oxfordshire.

Local people say they have "ruined the local area" and are demanding they are replaced.

The gantries carry electric wires to power a new fleet of Hitachi trains with bullet style technology.

Public exhibitions were due to start later this month.

The Government owned company say they want to work with the local community to minimise the impact but more design work is needed and it is better to consult when a full range of options are available.

The company say the £5.7 billion project will revolutionise travel with faster journeys and cleaner and greener electric trains.

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Oxford protest against president Trump begins

Protest begins around the Radcliffe Camera Credit: Henry Owen
In protest to Trump's plan for a wall - Oxford demonstrators knock down a cardboard wall Credit: Hugh Warwick
Communities across Oxford join in protest Credit: Henry Owen
Protesters want peace not hatred Credit: Hugh Warwick
Demonstrators build a cardboard wall Credit: Hugh Warwick

Protests growing across the south against Trump's inauguration

Campaign group, Bridges Not Walls, are leading the protest in Oxford Credit: Tim Helweg-Larsen

Demonstrations are being held across the region against Donald Trump's inauguration as US President.

Protestors are taking to the streets of Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading and Oxford.

More to follow.

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Demonstrators gather against Trump in Oxford

Oxford Says; Bridges not Walls Credit: Tim Helweg-Larson

A group of peaceful protesters have gathered under the Bridge of Sighs in Oxford to demonstrate ahead of Donald Trumps inauguration.

Oxford Says; Bridges not Walls dropped its banner over the historical bridge at 830am this morning.

They are one of many protest groups around the country that hope to send a message.

More are expected to join them at 1pm at Radcliffe Square, to build and topple a cardboard wall and to celebrate the diverse communities of Oxford.

Credit: Tim Helweg-Larson

"This protest gives us a chance to really stand-up to the far right. We don't want anyone to be at risk of oppression. We hope to bring community groups together."

– Organiser Lily Gilder
Credit: Tim Helweg-Larson

Campaign launched in Oxfordshire to save rural shops

Credit: ITV news

A campaign is being launched in Oxfordshire today calling for better support for the UK's 19,000 rural shops.

The Association of Convenience Stores wants the Government to address rising costs, a lack of high speed broadband and changes to business rates.
Its Chief Executive will make the plea at a village shop in Banbury along with local MP Victoria Prentis.

According to the group, over half of rural stores (59%) are the sole providers of essential goods and services with no retail businesses close by.

There's an uncertain future for the thousands of stores that run post offices in isolated areas. It says one in five store owners in rural areas have run their store for over 25 years, with 22% working more than 70 hours per week to serve their local community.

Since 2010, we have committed £2 billion to maintain and modernise the Post Office network, meaning 93% of the population now live within a mile of a branch.

We have also given small businesses in rural areas a 100% tax break and have recently announced £400 million to take superfast broadband even further, reaching thousands more rural homes and businesses.

– Government spokesman
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