Commuters are facing weeks of misery after Network Rail announced the railway line between Didcot Parkway and Oxford would not reopen until late April.

Rail replacement buses are currently operating between the two stations, adding significant time onto journey of anyone trying to reach London Paddington.

The Oxford to Didcot line closed on Monday (April 3) due to concerns about the safety of a sinking bridge.

READ MORE: Railway between Didcot and Oxford shut until end of April

The alarm was raised after engineers detected significant movements of the Nuneham Viaduct, which crosses the River Thames between Culham and Radley.

Oxford Mail:

Detailed inspections of the bridge are currently underway.

David Davidson, Network Rail’s interim Western route director, said: “We are sorry for the disruption this has caused for passengers and advise them to continue to check before they travel.

“Safety is our top priority and our engineers our now working round the clock to identify what can be done to make this viaduct safe for passenger and freight trains to run again.

“We are disappointed that the work we’ve done so far hasn’t been successful and our efforts haven’t been helped by the wettest March in over 30 years.”

Natasha Jacoby was forced to take a rail replacement bus from Oxford to Didcot and was therefore significantly delayed on her way to London Paddington.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “The closure was a big surprise when I got to the station and I had no idea it was going to happen.

“It is obviously a disruption and is causing a huge amount of havoc.

READ MORE: Council won't confirm impact of LTNs on ambulance call-out times

“But safety comes first, and I suppose there is not much that they can do.”

Great Western Railway (GWR), CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways are working with a revised timetable for the duration of the closure.

Chiltern Railways are experiencing increased demand for their Oxford to London Marylebone service and are advising people to only travel if necessary.

Eleni Jordan, commercial and customer strategy director at Chiltern Railways, said: "While Chiltern services remain operating during this time, we expect that our services from Oxfordshire towards London will be much busier while these urgent checks take place.

Oxford Mail:

“Throughout the Easter weekend, we are asking customers to only travel if essential.

“As the only direct operator between Birmingham/Oxford and London throughout the long weekend, services are likely to be extremely busy.

“If travelling is a necessity, customers should be mindful of this and ensure they check their full journey before travelling.

“Live train information is available on the Chiltern Railways website and app.”

Cross country trains are currently operating a full service north of Oxford and a limited number of trains will serve the line between Didcot and the south coast.

Great Western Railway services between London, Oxford and the North Cotswolds are also impacted with services terminating at Oxford; as well as the Didcot Parkway and Oxford shuttle.