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Oxford railway footbridge ramps battle looks lost
7:20pm Friday 8th March 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have been asked to approve the replacement of a railway footbridge in Oxford, despite the fact that the design does not include ramps.
Network Rail is replacing the bridge at Hinksey as part of plans to electrify the line through Oxford since the existing structure is too low for the overhead power cables.
But residents have been campaigning for the design of the new bridge linking South Oxford and South Hinksey to include ramps, rather than just steps, so that the disabled and parents with buggies can use it.
City council officers said it was “disappointing” no disabled access had been included but effectively admitted there was nothing the council could do.
In a report to the west area planning committee, officers highlighted a similar case in Lincolnshire where councillors refused an application only to see it overturned on appeal.
Network Rail has said it only has funding for a like-for-like replacement for the bridge, which spans the railway line and Hinksey Lake.
It said disabled access could be included at a later date, though it made no commitment that this will be done.
The proposals have been criticised by South Hinksey Parish Council and a petition was organised by local residents.
City councillors including Bob Price, Mark Lygo and Anne-Marie Canning have ‘called-in’ the case for it to be considered at a full council meeting.