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:

New: Get Oxford Mail news alerts sent direct to your phone via Whatsapp

Oxford Mail: Whats App logo

11:50am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

OXFORD Mail readers can now sign up to get major breaking news alerts sent direct to their mobile phones with a new service using Whatsapp.

Set for a battle of Blenheim over 1,500 homes plan

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

RESIDENTS in Woodstock have vowed to “fight until the bitter end” against plans to build up to 1,500 homes east of the town.

Delays of up to 40 minutes on bus services across the county

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

STAGECOACH Oxfordshire has warned that passengers face delays of up to 40 minutes this morning.

Harassment cop sacked for gross misconduct

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:30am Tuesday 9th September 2014

A DETECTIVE has been sacked after harassing a member of police staff, the force said yesterday.

Fears as boat owners’ group claims new area of riverbank

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

RESIDENTS say they are worried about another attempt by boat owners to grab land alongside waterways in the city.

Mum cleared of breaking baby daughter’s leg

Oxford Mail: The Horton General Hospital, Banbury

6:30am Tuesday 9th September 2014

A TEENAGER accused of breaking her baby daughter’s leg broke down in tears as she was cleared yesterday.

Oh baby! Royal fans pass on best to Kate

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 9th September 2014

THE NEWS that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her second child was met with joy around the world.

Detective fired from Thames Valley Police after harassing member of police staff

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:27pm Monday 8th September 2014

A DETECTIVE has been fired from Thames Valley Police after harassing a member of police staff.

Appleton's half-time blast does the trick for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 8th September 2014

DANNY Hylton revealed a half-time blast from Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton was the key to a vastly-improved performance as they hit back to claim a 1-1 draw at Southend United.

Wired for fun

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 8th September 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth opened Woodstock’s new play area by hurtling down a zip wire.

Campsfield extension would create 80 new ‘local’ jobs

Oxford Mail: The proposed centre at Arncott would be a secure site like Campsfield

8:30am Monday 8th September 2014

ABOUT 80 jobs for local people will be created if an extension goes ahead at Campsfield House immigration detention centre, Kidlington, it has been revealed.

Rise in cases hits force

Oxford Mail: Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld

8:30am Monday 8th September 2014

NEARLY 500 new domestic abuse victims came forward last year with the police warning of increased pressure on the cash-strapped force.

Pub garden brews up a music and ale festival

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Monday 8th September 2014

BEER and cider was flowing all weekend at an Oxford pub festival.

Rower Cracknell MP?

Oxford Mail: James Cracknell

7:00am Monday 8th September 2014

Former British rowing champion and Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell may stand for election as an MP in Banbury, it has been claimed.

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