Rail bridge revamp welcomed by users

Oxford Mail: Richard Mann of Cyclox at Botley Railway Bridge Buy this photo Richard Mann of Cyclox at Botley Railway Bridge

PEDESTRIAN and cyclist groups say they are delighted with plans to replace the Botley Road railway bridge in 2017.

As a part of a multi-million pound scheme, the bridge will be widened for more railway lines while the road underneath is to be widened, given cycle lanes and larger pavements.

Oxford Pedestrians’ Association secretary Corinne Grimley Evans said the group was “all for it”.

She said: “I would be delighted if that came to pass. That section of road is a horror at the moment, for both pedestrians and cyclists.

“As the road narrows cyclists have nowhere to go except into vehicles and pedestrians are worried about hitting the cyclists.

“These changes will mean more people cycling and walking and that is what we need.”

Cycle lanes were first added to Botley Road in 1998.

But at present only cyclists leaving the city, going under the bridge, have a dedicated but narrow bike lane.

Those riding into the city have to merge with traffic.

City councillor for Osney Susanna Pressel said the change was “wonderful news”.

She said: “Ever since I first became councillor 18 years ago, this has been the one thing people here have been clammering for.

“This bridge has put people off cycling, particularly if they have young children, and that has caused more of them to drive.

“It’s been very difficult to persuade Network Rail in the past to do this work because it is so expensive to stop the trains.

“But this will make a huge difference to everybody, so I’m delighted.”

Oxford cyclists group Cyclox said the scheme could double the number of cyclists in the city’s west side.

Vice chairman Richard Mann said it had been a “number one issue” for residents.

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He said: “Having to negotiate your way through danger is not something you should be faced with just cycling across Oxford.”

The work on the bridge is expected to happen after the 12-month redesign of Frideswide Square, due to begin in the autumn, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said.

That will see both ends of the square, at the top of the Botley Road, fitted with two roundabouts, instead of a traffic lightcontrolled junctions at a cost of £5.5m.

Comments (5)

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9:02am Sat 3 May 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"The work on the bridge is expected to happen after the 12-month redesign of Frideswide Square, due to begin in the autumn, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said.".......
.........par for the course then, with some sensible planning it could all be done at the same time, but that would mean people having to think, and that's not likely to happen at OCC
"The work on the bridge is expected to happen after the 12-month redesign of Frideswide Square, due to begin in the autumn, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said."....... .........par for the course then, with some sensible planning it could all be done at the same time, but that would mean people having to think, and that's not likely to happen at OCC Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 3

9:27am Sat 3 May 14

couldabeenacontender says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
"The work on the bridge is expected to happen after the 12-month redesign of Frideswide Square, due to begin in the autumn, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said.".......
.........par for the course then, with some sensible planning it could all be done at the same time, but that would mean people having to think, and that's not likely to happen at OCC
I'm not sure its practical to do both at the same time. I'm assuming the road will be closed when they replace the bridge as Old Abingdon Rd was so if they do Frideswide Square at the same time there will be very restricted access to the station for cars and buses and the Saed Business School. Sounds like a better idea to do it consecutively even if it will take longer.
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: "The work on the bridge is expected to happen after the 12-month redesign of Frideswide Square, due to begin in the autumn, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said."....... .........par for the course then, with some sensible planning it could all be done at the same time, but that would mean people having to think, and that's not likely to happen at OCC[/p][/quote]I'm not sure its practical to do both at the same time. I'm assuming the road will be closed when they replace the bridge as Old Abingdon Rd was so if they do Frideswide Square at the same time there will be very restricted access to the station for cars and buses and the Saed Business School. Sounds like a better idea to do it consecutively even if it will take longer. couldabeenacontender
  • Score: 0

11:07am Sat 3 May 14

Patrick, Devon says...

The bridge replacement will entail a complete closure of the rail line, so will probably happen over a Christmas and be done in days - as they did at Reading. Frideswide Square will be another story though.

As one who used to cycle that route daily, I agree that if it promotes cycling it could greatly reduce the traffic volume here. This makes it surprising that the Frideswide Square proposal doesnt seem very cycle friendly. Why not have a segregated cycle route through it?
The bridge replacement will entail a complete closure of the rail line, so will probably happen over a Christmas and be done in days - as they did at Reading. Frideswide Square will be another story though. As one who used to cycle that route daily, I agree that if it promotes cycling it could greatly reduce the traffic volume here. This makes it surprising that the Frideswide Square proposal doesnt seem very cycle friendly. Why not have a segregated cycle route through it? Patrick, Devon
  • Score: -2

5:08pm Sat 3 May 14

Isawyoucoming says...

The pedestrian tunnel at present is disgusting hope it goes.
The pedestrian tunnel at present is disgusting hope it goes. Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 1

5:50pm Sat 3 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Now this is good news. The work will also be done post-opening of the Oxford to Marylebone route, so a direct rail link with London will be maintained throughout...

However, get ready:-

It cannot be done without either noise or disruption.

Brace yourself for protests from Mill Street residents whose Easter, May, Summer, October or Winterval or lives in general will be "ruined".

Look out for local councillors pictured in "The Oxford Mail" with their serious or concerned faces expressing "fears" over access to Jericho Health Centre for vulnerable people during the road closure period.

Red faced members of the Oxford Luddite Society will be in there too - "worried" about the destruction of an 18th century(?) arched pedestrian underpass. Or the only surviving 20th century pedestrian overbridge in the city.

The CPRE will be in there somewhere expressing their concerns about how improved road access at Botley will affect the greenbelt.

Greens will express anguish about potentially larger LGVs delivering goods into retail outlets in Oxford.

Various businesses will also blame the road closure for a critical loss of trade.


Have I missed anyone?
Now this is good news. The work will also be done post-opening of the Oxford to Marylebone route, so a direct rail link with London will be maintained throughout... However, get ready:- It cannot be done without either noise or disruption. Brace yourself for protests from Mill Street residents whose Easter, May, Summer, October or Winterval or lives in general will be "ruined". Look out for local councillors pictured in "The Oxford Mail" with their serious or concerned faces expressing "fears" over access to Jericho Health Centre for vulnerable people during the road closure period. Red faced members of the Oxford Luddite Society will be in there too - "worried" about the destruction of an 18th century(?) arched pedestrian underpass. Or the only surviving 20th century pedestrian overbridge in the city. The CPRE will be in there somewhere expressing their concerns about how improved road access at Botley will affect the greenbelt. Greens will express anguish about potentially larger LGVs delivering goods into retail outlets in Oxford. Various businesses will also blame the road closure for a critical loss of trade. Have I missed anyone? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

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