Transport

Roads:

The ancient parish was crossed by a network of roads. One, the Buckingham road, was a Roman road, running from Alchester (just north of Wendlebury) to join the Watling Street at Towcester. The Launton, Caversfield and Bucknell roads were ordered to be made 40 feet wide by the Market End inclosure award of 1758. The state of the roads about that time may be judged from Sir Harbottle Grimston's observation that the road between Bicester and Buckingham was 'very bad, almost impassable for a carriage'. The turnpike acts, however, transformed this situation. Buckingham Road was turnpiked in 1768–9; the Banbury road, a part of the coach road from London to Birmingham, was turnpiked in 1790–1 along with the Bicester–Aynho section of this road. The Bicester-Aylesbury section of it had already been turnpiked in 1770. When this road entered the parish in the south it followed the line of Akeman Street. It originally entered the town centre via Water Lane/Chapel Street. A toll-gate was situated not from far from its junction with Priory Road. The road was then re-routed along the line of the current London road, prior to the building of the Oxford / Bletchley railway line in 1850 and the toll-gate moved further out of town on the Aylesbury/London road. See 1833 map. The turnpike from Aylesbury to Aynho via Bicester (i.e. the London road) was freed from toll by acts of 1875 and 1876. The toll-house on the London road was still standing in 1956.

Coaches began to run from Bicester to London in 1752 and by 1795 the 'Old Banbury' coach went through Bicester to London six days a week and there was a weekly wagon passing through from Birmingham to London. A weekly coach to Oxford for the Saturday market began to run in 1794 and a mail cart in 1798.

A new arterial road to by-pass the centre of Bicester was built in 1939; it followed the line of the old Roman road through King's End to Crockwell; it was named Queen's Avenue and planted with trees in 1953 in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was at this time that the road to Oxford was straightened. Originally it wound its way along the road that now runs past the Wyvale Garden Centre, through the centre of Wendlebury and on towards Kidlington. Traces of the old road can still be found behind the petrol stations on the A34 near Weston on the Green.

Canals:

Oxford Canal is amongst the earliest of cuts in the Canal Age. It was constructed and opened in sections between 1774 and 1790 with a wharf at Lower Heyford, six miles from Bicester. This was particularly valuable as it brought Bicester into direct connection with the collieries in the West Midlands and ensured a supply of cheap coal. Horse drawn carriers then transported the coal to Bicester.

Railways:

The railway first came to Bicester in 1850, when the Bletchley to Oxford line was completed and the London Road station on the L.N.W.R. line was opened. Bicester North station was opened by the G.W.R. in 1906. (fn. 15) Co-operation between the rival companies was so good after the First World War that until 1940 both stations shared one stationmaster.