AN ‘UNSAFE bridge’ near a school is set to be demolished later this week, it has been announced.

Oxfordshire County Council has revealed the pedestrian bridge, over the A40 and adjacent to Burford School, will be demolished this weekend.

Work will take place during the night, with the council saying ‘the safety of pupils and pedestrians will remain paramount’.

The bridge has been hit by several vehicles over the years, leaving it in an unsafe condition.

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It has been closed to the public since November of last year.

The council said it has not proved viable to repair or replace the footbridge, with a temporary crossing, controlled by traffic signals, installed when the footbridge was closed.

This is to be made into a permanent feature.

Work is due to start in February of next year and is set to be completed by the end of March 2021.

Oxford Mail:

Councillor Liam Walker, cabinet member for highways delivery and operations, said: “The safety of the pupils of Burford School and the pedestrians of Burford is paramount to Oxfordshire County Council.

“Unfortunately, due to the age and the condition of the bridge, we have no viable alternative other than to demolish it and replace with a permanent pedestrian controlled crossing.

“As a former pupil of Burford School, I know the importance of ensuring we have a safe crossing point for both pupils and residents.

“We will continue to work with the headteacher and her staff to ensure that the works needed to provide this new crossing will cause as little disruption as possible to the pupils during construction.

“This scheme is another example of the commitment we have to invest in our network to ensure the safety of all users.”

Oxford Mail:

Any work that needs to be carried out in the vicinity of Burford School will be done with the knowledge of the school to ensure disruption is minimised.

Most of the disruptive works will be carried out during half term, and the council said it will work with the school to ensure pupils and all other users of the crossing point can cross the road in a safe and controlled manner.

The footbridge was built decades ago, after a child was fatally struck while crossing the busy road.

Plans to demolish the footbridge were revealed in February.

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At the time, Burford mayor John White said the idea was ‘penny-pinching and playing with children’s lives’.

Additional measures, including extra crossing points on the A40 and A361, plus speed limit reductions on both roads and in Burford town centre are to be carried out as soon as possible.

These measures are being provided by both the county council and as part of the Lioncourt housing development in the town.

Burford School was founded as an Elizabethan Grammar School for boys in 1571 by a group of local merchants.

It moved to its current premises in Cheltenham Road in 1957 and currently teaches almost 1,400 pupils.