Network Rail wants to close three dangerous level crossings permanently as brand new designs have been made public for the first time. 

To improve safety and to allow for additional trains, Network Rail is proposing to close the level crossings at Tackley, Sandy Lane and Yarnton.

It comes after a person was found dead on the railway which runs through Kidlington last month. 

Two people were also taken to hospital after their car hit a train on the Sandy Lane level crossing the same day. 

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Oxford Mail: Design for Tackley footbridgeDesign for Tackley footbridge (Image: Network Rail)

In November last year, Emily Hickman, 34, from Chipping Norton, was also killed after she was hit by a train at the crossing.

Network Rail has said closing the three crossings would provide capacity for an additional two freight trains per hour and additional Birmingham to Oxford services.

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Oxford Mail: Proposed design for Sandy Lane level crossingProposed design for Sandy Lane level crossing (Image: Network Rail)

The aim is for all three crossings to be closed permanently by the end of 2024, as the Tackley level crossing was closed under emergency measures in 2020 but a permanent solution is still needed.

Tackley’s level crossing was closed on April 28 by Network Rail and the county council via a temporary traffic regulation order as it was deemed necessary to reduce the immediate risk to the public.

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In the meantime, before a permanent solution is found, Network Rail has installed a temporary footbridge at the location and is working towards a permanent solution.

Oxford Mail: Proposed design for Yarnton footbridgeProposed design for Yarnton footbridge (Image: Network Rail)

In the consultation, Network Rail is proposing to install a permanent footbridge with lifts to reach both platforms.


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A new bridleway will be constructed to the west, starting outside Tackley Station at Nethercote Road and running adjacent to the railway towards the south before re-joining the existing Bridleway near to the River Cherwell.

The Sandy Lane crossing operates as an automatic half barrier level crossing and this is linked to the signalling system.

This level crossing has been rated as the highest risk of any of these types of crossing on the whole of the Western route.

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Network Rail’s proposal for this crossing includes diverting motorists along the A44 and A4260/A4095.

In the crossing’s place, the proposal includes plans for a ramped cycling and pedestrian bridge.

The works may require a construction compound by the crossing and land could need to be acquired from third parties on a permanent basis.

The Yarnton level crossing, situated on Green Lane, is operating as an automatic half barrier crossing and Network Rail is proposing to close Green Lane to traffic and install a stepped footbridge with wheeling ramps for bicycles.

To maintain access to the A44, Network Rail intends to build a restricted use link road for residents and landowners east of the crossings.

Improvements to the re-surfacing of Green Lane have also been put forward.

The public are invited to have their say via a consultation which can be filled in online and Network Rail will also be holding drop-in sessions with the project team.