A cycling group that would like to see an underpass at London Road crossing is urging people to have their say at an East West Rail event.

East West Rail (EWR) – the rail link between Oxford and Cambridge that runs through Bicester – advised last year that train services through Bicester will become more frequent.

The more frequent train service has meant traffic delays at the crossing may become worse, and it has highlighted a need for safe active travel.

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Controversial plans to close the level crossing on the London Road has now closed but Bicester Bike Users' Group has continued to campaign for “quality” cycling and walking accesses.

Oxford Mail:

The group is urging people to have their say at an East West Rail event and show their support for active travel access along London Road to and from Bicester centre.

George Bennett Chair of Bicester Bike Users' Group said: “The more of use that attend the better, and show that there is great support for good active travel access along London road to and from Bicester centre. 

“We believe that the best solution for the town is a high-quality active travel underpass.”

He added: “The proposed foot bridge is a barrier to many and would prevent the most vulnerable to accessing the town.

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“A full-blown vehicle bridge or underpass would provide poor cycling and walking access and be hugely destructive as well as potentially increasing traffic and pollution levels.

“Vehicle alternatives are only marginally longer and pose no great issue.”

Last year EWR held a consultation with the Bicester public asking for their views on six different proposals to solve the issue, including a bridge, underpass and complete closure of London Road.   

EWR’s first phase - which saw the creation of the Western section which operates services between Oxford and Bicester - was completed in December 2016.

The second phase centres on ERW’s wider proposal to connect Oxford to Cambridge and involves track and signalling upgrades between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

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Councillors Donna Ford, Michael Waine, Calum Miller and independent councillor Les Sibley wrote a joint letter to EWR calling for London Road to remain open to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.  

Councillor Nick Mawer, Mayor of Bicester, said: “We have to find a fix for vehicles. We need either an over or an underpass. There are potential routes for a bridge that haven’t been fully explored.”

He added: “Residents of London Road would rather their road be turned into a quiet cul-de-sac; they’d be happy if there wasn’t two-way traffic thundering across the railway line.”

The event is on Monday July 4, from 2pm to 8pm at John Paul II Centre in Bicester.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Rebecca.Whittaker@newquest.co.uk or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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