Steventon Railway Bridge Closure
Railway electrificaton - BRIDGE UPDATE - January 2017
Steventon Parish Council (PC), Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Ed Vaizey's assistant met with Network Rail (NR) on Monday 9th January to discuss the current position with regard to electrification of the railway in Steventon.
Ed Vaizey has had meetings with NR, the utility companies and Historic England. He reports:
- The bridge will be demolished and reconstructed;
- The road will be closed for at least 10 months;
- The utilities are happy to work together;
- Historic England are aware of the intended bridge demolition.
NR confirmed that Stocks Lane crossing will not be closed and that they are now only pursuing bridge demolition and reconstruction. Their baseline case is that the road will be closed for at least 10 months. However, it is hoped that cycle and pedestrian bridge access will be provided.
NR are to apply by the end of January 2017 to Historic England, and the Vale of White Horse District Council for approval to demolish the Grade II listed bridge. In their submission they will have to present a robust case including:
- Documentation that all credible options have been explored and evaluated by due process;
- The bridge has only a finite life.
A bridge survey by OCC in January 2016 showed that: "The bridge is in fair condition with some repairs necessary". OCC reported that the bridge can be maintained on an annual basis.
The PC challenged the 10 month road closure and pressed for 4-6 month closure period. NR said they would try to reduce the closure time. However, the full detail of what is actually going to happen is still to be determined. It is likely that the decision will be known in May 2017. This will then define what happens next.