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 units aim to take strain off struggling A&E workers

Oxford Mail: The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

6:30am Monday 26th January 2015

MORE hospital assessment units look set to be set up to take pressure off struggling A&E departments.

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

'I'm glad my evil ex has been jailed for injuring me'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A WOMAN left with life-changing injuries after her violent boyfriend pulled her car’s handbrake on the A40 said she is glad the “evil” man has been jailed.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

Haggis and a wee dram on menu for Burns Night

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

FAMILIES and friends across Oxford are coming together to celebrate Sunday’s Burns Night in style.

Delight at decision to replace whole water pipe in Normandy Crescent

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

RESIDENTS have welcomed Thames Water’s decision to replace the water pipe running through a flood-blighted street as “a step in the right direction.”

A34 northbound re-opened after lorry crash

Oxford Mail:

8:28am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE A34 northbound between Marcham and Milton re-opened this evening after the road was closed when a lorry crashed into a ditch last night.

Plea for noisy salute today to Oxford United fan Keith Pasfield

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE KASSAM Stadium will echo to a minute’s applause this afternoon to mark the death of a lifelong U’s fan.

It was the sunniest December for 135 years

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Saturday 24th January 2015

DECEMBER is a month more known for ear muffs than sunglasses but last month was the sunniest in Oxford since records began in 1881.

Disabled swimmers are told Leys Pool now ready and waiting for them

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

DISABLED swimmers have been reassured by city council managers the right equipment is available at a new £9.2m swimming pool following criticism.

Hospital and health service staff planning 12-hour walk-out

Oxford Mail: John Radcliffe Hospital stock

6:40am Saturday 24th January 2015

MORE than 400 ambulance and 2,000 hospital staff in Oxfordshire could strike as part of a national day of action later this month.

Now students say: We don't want controversial Castle Mill buildings shortened

Oxford Mail: The Castle Mill flats

6:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

STUDENTS have called a bid to reduce the height of the controversial Castle Mill student flats a “scandalous waste” of money.

Two conmen sent to prison

Oxford Mail: Scales of Justice

6:10am Saturday 24th January 2015

TWO conmen who targeted elderly people in Oxford, taking up to £15,000, have been jailed.

Oxford City Council promises to keep its park and ride sites open

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

CITY leaders have said plans to scrap park-and-ride facilities in Oxford were put forward without consulting them first.

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