U-turn over bridge closure welcomed

Jonathan and Claire Hilsdon plan to re-open The Volunteer pub – next to the bridge on the A338 – as an American-style diner

Jonathan and Claire Hilsdon plan to re-open The Volunteer pub – next to the bridge on the A338 – as an American-style diner Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

MOVES to close a bridge used by 13,000 commuters to and from Oxford each day have been dropped by rail bosses.

Network Rail wanted to shut the A338 Volunteer Bridge at Grove for six months so it can be rebuilt as part of plans to electrify rail lines.

But it was denied council permission and has now said it will build a new bridge off-site and install it.

It said the road will be closed for “a very short period” while it is put in place. No further details were available.

Jonathan and Claire Hilsdon, who are planning to re-open The Volunteer pub at the bridge as an American-style diner in October, said the news was “fantastic”.

They bought the pub last year and feared the effect the road works would have on their passing trade.

Mr Hilsdon said: “We are jumping for joy. That news has made my year. We were so worried. If they shut it for six months just as we were opening, I don’t know what would have happened.”

The Grove bridge is among 29 county bridges set to be rebuilt to make way for power lines for the Great Western Mainline between London Paddington and Cardiff.

The firm said the overhead wires will allow it to run larger, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly trains.

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey said: “Following the county council’s decision to turn down the request to close the A338 and divert traffic through villages for six months, I have continued discussions with Network Rail to ensure this project is not introduced, as I have said before, at the expense of grotesque inconvenience to my constituents.

“I therefore welcome Network Rail’s confirmation they have developed a proposal for the A338 Wantage Road bridge rebuild that will keep the road open, which will now only close for a very short period of time while a new bridge constructed off-site is installed.”

Network Rail spokeswoman Anne-Marie Batson said the firm had “developed a proposal for the A338 Wantage Road bridge rebuild that will keep the road open”.

She said that Network Rail bosses would meet with Oxfordshire County Council in the coming weeks to reveal the details of the new scheme.

She also said Challow Road bridge on the A417 and Steventon High Street bridge will not be closed at the same time as each other, to minimise disruption, and pedestrian access would be provided throughout work on the bridges.

For further information about the bridge works, visit networkrail.co.uk\greatwesternelectrification

Our top stories:

First aid drive at Westgate

Oxford Mail: Westgate Shopping Centre

6:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

St John Ambulance’s Save a Life September first aid drive is coming to the Westgate Shopping Centre today.

Drivers moving 'closed' signs to use rat-run

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire county council logo round

6:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

ROAD closed signs will have to be concreted into the ground around West Challow after drivers simply moved them out of the way.

Extra crews drafted in as cable sparks hold up at ‘hamburger’

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire county council logo round

6:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

MORE workers are to be brought in to combat delays caused by the discovery of a fragile electricity cable unearthed at Oxford’s Kennington roadworks.

Fundraisers travel culture club class to capital

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

ABOUT 150 culture vultures from an Abingdon school set off on a bizarre nocturnal adventure last night.

Feathers fly as hawk dives in

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Karen Buttery says she couldn’t believe her eyes when she was nearly sent flying by a bird of prey in central Oxford.

Major diversions imminent as road repairs set to start

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

PLANS to divert traffic around Headington will come into force in the next few weeks while London Road is resurfaced and upgraded.

Cyclist sexually harassed two women in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:57pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CYCLIST who sexually harassed two women this morning is being hunted by police.

Kennington roundabout contraflow switch put back by a month due to fragile cables

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council is spending £6m on turning the Kennington roundabout at the southern end of Abingdon Road into a “hamburger” style junction

3:19pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CHANGEOVER in the traffic system at Oxford’s Kennington Roundabout is to be delayed by four weeks, to mid-October.

First OxfordOxford festival cancelled a week before event

Oxford Mail:

1:50pm Friday 19th September 2014

THE inaugural OxfordOxford festival has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and uncertainty with a booked artist, organisers have said today.

Alcoholic jailed for ‘sickening’ attack in street

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 19th September 2014

AN ALCOHOLIC who kicked a woman’s head like she was “taking a penalty” has been jailed.

‘Co-operation is key to ending child sex gangs’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

A HOME Office minister has admitted that social services and police officers should have been co-operating “for years” to stamp out child sexual exploitation.

Northern Gateway ‘will increase traffic by half’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th September 2014

MORNING traffic on a main route into the city could increase by almost half if a major development in North Oxford goes ahead, it has been claimed.

Villagers join forces to create loads of festive bunting

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th September 2014

SPLASHES of colour will hit the streets of a village this weekend after residents created more than half a kilometre of decorations.

Passengers in for rail treat as station undergoes £8m upgrade

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Friday 19th September 2014

AN £8m revamp of Didcot Parkway station will bring “great benefits” to Oxfordshire commuters, it was claimed after work finished this week.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree