A RAILWAY flyover scheme near Port Meadow could cause more anger than the Castle Mill student flats, a councillor has warned.

Network Rail is considering the flyover for the railway junction at Wolvercote to cope with predicted future demand.

But residents fear the scheme would cause massive environmental damage to Port Meadow and affect hundreds of homes.

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Wolvercote city councillor Mike Gotch said the plans threatened to provoke more fury than Oxford University’s controversial Roger Dudman Way student flats.

He said: “The furore over Castle Mill will be as nothing compared to that generated when Network Rail reveal the details of the gantries, cables and general paraphernalia associated with the electrification of the main Oxford to Birmingham line alongside Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common.

“Some of the structures will be five metres high. Any suggestion of a much higher flyover alongside the meadow will positively blow the lid off the kettle.”

The work being looked at for the Oxford North railway junction is one option being considered by Network Rail.

Spokeswoman Victoria Bradley said a flyover at the Didcot East junction was also being looked at.

She added: “Further capacity will be required to accommodate predicted passenger demand by 2043.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Network Rail wants to build a flyover similar to the one, pictured above, that opened this week at Reading

A Wolvercote flyover could cost between £50m and £100m. Reading’s new 1.25-mile-long flyover on the Great Western main line, which opened this week, cost £45m.

Upper Wolvercote campaigner Keith Dancey said the scheme would be “irreparably devastating” for the area.

He said: “This railway line runs alongside the renowned Port Meadow and the construction of a long flyover at this site would ruin the setting.

“Such a construction would also have an irreparably devastating effect upon homes in the Waterways and Waterside area, with trains at bedroom height a mere handful of metres away.

“It is appalling to imagine a mile-long ‘rail flyover’ centred at this location.”

A public consultation on the Western Route Draft Study, which sets out how the rail network can be improved over the next 30 years, ends today.

But campaigners said they fear technical jargon in the 270-page document will mean many will not recognise the possible implications for North Oxford.

Ms Bradley said: “All the feedback we receive will be considered when we produce the final version that will be submitted to the Department for Transport.”

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