‘Bridge closure will put traders at risk’

The Fox’s assistant manager Mike George and manager Steve Reeve

The Fox’s assistant manager Mike George and manager Steve Reeve Buy this photo

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

RESIDENTS say businesses will be put at risk if a main road into Steventon is shut for 10 months.

Steventon Parish Council says Network Rail has told it will have to close the bridge on high street for either five or 10 months to rebuild it.

But either way, councillors say it will cause “huge disruption” to the village and trade will suffer.

Councillor Robert Green said: “There will be a huge amount of disruption to Steventon.

“Five months at the shortest could put a lot of businesses at risk.”

Network Rail needs to rebuild the bridge as part of its £1bn electrification of the Great Western Mainline - installing overhead wires between London and Cardiff that it says will allow faster, quieter and more reliable trains.

Steventon is one of many areas that will face disruption while the work goes ahead. But traders are worried about what the road closure will mean for business – even if there are other routes into the village.

Steve Reeve, manager of The Fox in Steventon High Street, said: “It is obviously going to affect our trade, especially at lunchtime.

"About 90 per cent of people come in from Milton Park on that road and lunchtime is one of the biggest parts of trade. It is quite worrying in that respect.’’ To fit wires in, the company either needs to rebuild the Steventon road bridge or partially rebuild it and partially lower the track beneath.

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Village resident Nick Thompson, 76, said: “The parish council has got to start demanding a temporary bridge from Network Rail.”

The parish council has said it will demand that Network Rail present it with detail of the plans by the end of March.

Network Rail spokesman Anne-Marie Batson said: “Steventon High Street bridge is a complex problem, as it is a listed structure and close to Stocks Lane level crossing.’’ She refused to say whether the firm was actually considering closing the road for 10 months, but said: “All options are still under discussion.”

Comments (13)

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4:06pm Tue 18 Mar 14

icba1957 says...

The Parish Council can "demand" as much as it wants. The same story in Grove revealed that network Rail don't have to tell the locals anything ...
The Parish Council can "demand" as much as it wants. The same story in Grove revealed that network Rail don't have to tell the locals anything ... icba1957
  • Score: 2

4:28pm Tue 18 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

There should be a hardship fund, with NR and the Govt putting money in. To lose 90% of your trade is a disaster, and an otherwise viable business will go bust - putting people out of work. This cannot be allowed.
There should be a hardship fund, with NR and the Govt putting money in. To lose 90% of your trade is a disaster, and an otherwise viable business will go bust - putting people out of work. This cannot be allowed. EMBOX2
  • Score: 5

5:12pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

Isn't this the 'alternative route' for the A338 closure?

How are they going to manage closures on both the A338 and B4017 simultaneously?
Isn't this the 'alternative route' for the A338 closure? How are they going to manage closures on both the A338 and B4017 simultaneously? Gunslinger
  • Score: 8

5:33pm Tue 18 Mar 14

the wizard says...

With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc.
With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc. the wizard
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Tue 18 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

the wizard wrote:
With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc.
I think I'm right in saying you can't do 3rd rail anymore - overhead lines are much safer. London Overground being the latest new rail build has overhead.
[quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc.[/p][/quote]I think I'm right in saying you can't do 3rd rail anymore - overhead lines are much safer. London Overground being the latest new rail build has overhead. EMBOX2
  • Score: 3

9:30pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Feelingsmatter says...

Shows how ill-informed Network Rail is; the bridge is a significant distance from the level crossing at Stocks Lane and will have no impact on it. Closing the bridge will kill businesses in the village and make getting to Didcot or Milton an absolute nightmare. It will also have a knock on effect at the junction involving Ock Street and Spring Road as many more cars will drive through Drayton if they can't get on the A34 at Milton.
Shows how ill-informed Network Rail is; the bridge is a significant distance from the level crossing at Stocks Lane and will have no impact on it. Closing the bridge will kill businesses in the village and make getting to Didcot or Milton an absolute nightmare. It will also have a knock on effect at the junction involving Ock Street and Spring Road as many more cars will drive through Drayton if they can't get on the A34 at Milton. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 3

9:49pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Danny A says...

I'm trying to work out how I am going to cycle to work... don't fancy the route I'd drive: Abingdon to Milton hill via A34 and Milton interchange(!)
I'm trying to work out how I am going to cycle to work... don't fancy the route I'd drive: Abingdon to Milton hill via A34 and Milton interchange(!) Danny A
  • Score: 2

9:28am Wed 19 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
the wizard wrote:
With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc.
I think I'm right in saying you can't do 3rd rail anymore - overhead lines are much safer. London Overground being the latest new rail build has overhead.
Not entirely true - the 'new' section of London Overground between Shoreditch and Dalston has 3rd rail, and the older former Underground sections were converted to it.
3rd rail DC electrification is much more expensive and is not suitable for long distance high speed operations - that is why the new high speed route in Kent doesn't use it.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: With so many structures along the route needing demolition /replacement why is the plan continuing for overhead supply when Southern region rely quite well on the third rail for the supply to the locos' without the visual impact on the scenery etc.[/p][/quote]I think I'm right in saying you can't do 3rd rail anymore - overhead lines are much safer. London Overground being the latest new rail build has overhead.[/p][/quote]Not entirely true - the 'new' section of London Overground between Shoreditch and Dalston has 3rd rail, and the older former Underground sections were converted to it. 3rd rail DC electrification is much more expensive and is not suitable for long distance high speed operations - that is why the new high speed route in Kent doesn't use it. Gunslinger
  • Score: 3

10:16am Wed 19 Mar 14

natox78 says...

Danny A wrote:
I'm trying to work out how I am going to cycle to work... don't fancy the route I'd drive: Abingdon to Milton hill via A34 and Milton interchange(!)
Its okay, there is a cycle track that takes you around the interchange using the traffic lights and keeping you perfectly safe. It this closure goes ahead, I will be using this route too as I cycle Chilton to Abingdon.
[quote][p][bold]Danny A[/bold] wrote: I'm trying to work out how I am going to cycle to work... don't fancy the route I'd drive: Abingdon to Milton hill via A34 and Milton interchange(!)[/p][/quote]Its okay, there is a cycle track that takes you around the interchange using the traffic lights and keeping you perfectly safe. It this closure goes ahead, I will be using this route too as I cycle Chilton to Abingdon. natox78
  • Score: 2

12:22pm Wed 19 Mar 14

morrismac says...

The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex.
The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex. morrismac
  • Score: -2

5:00pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

morrismac wrote:
The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex.
To be honest they should be looking to phase out the crossings anyway -safety-wise they aren't really compatible with the present high speed trains, let alone the increased frequencies and speeds that would presumably result from electrification.

A new bridge plus a link road south of the railway would also provide a useful diversion route while the existing bridge is demolished and replaced.
[quote][p][bold]morrismac[/bold] wrote: The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex.[/p][/quote]To be honest they should be looking to phase out the crossings anyway -safety-wise they aren't really compatible with the present high speed trains, let alone the increased frequencies and speeds that would presumably result from electrification. A new bridge plus a link road south of the railway would also provide a useful diversion route while the existing bridge is demolished and replaced. Gunslinger
  • Score: 1

5:01pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

morrismac wrote:
The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex.
To be honest they should be looking to phase out the crossings anyway -safety-wise they aren't really compatible with the present high speed trains, let alone the increased frequencies and speeds that would presumably result from electrification.

A new bridge plus a link road south of the railway would also provide a useful diversion route while the existing bridge is demolished and replaced.
[quote][p][bold]morrismac[/bold] wrote: The level crossing is about a third of a mile from the bridge. If you lower the track-bed several feet to install the wires, you've got less than that to bring the track back up to the crossing level. I'm prepared to believe that makes the engineering more complex.[/p][/quote]To be honest they should be looking to phase out the crossings anyway -safety-wise they aren't really compatible with the present high speed trains, let alone the increased frequencies and speeds that would presumably result from electrification. A new bridge plus a link road south of the railway would also provide a useful diversion route while the existing bridge is demolished and replaced. Gunslinger
  • Score: 1

10:03am Sun 23 Mar 14

Feelingsmatter says...

Getting rid of the crossings would split the village in two unless there's an aesthetically pleasing way of keeping the crossing point on the Causeway.
Getting rid of the crossings would split the village in two unless there's an aesthetically pleasing way of keeping the crossing point on the Causeway. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

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