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Safety fears at nursery as rail footbridge is unveiled
A NURSERY has said a “monster” footbridge is putting the children at risk.
Staff at the Childfirst nursery in Launton Road, Bicester, say they came into work on Tuesday to see the footbridge.
Manager Andrea Leonard said: “We just assumed it would be a normal footbridge.
“I came into work on Tuesday and it had arrived. It’s just unbelievable. It’s a monster. It must be at least 20ft high.”
As part of the rail improvements between Oxford and Bicester, the bridge was installed to permanently replace Tubbs Crossing, between Launton Road and housing estate Langford Village.
But Mrs Leonard said she’s now worried about the privacy of the children and that it could become a target for people throwing things from the bridge.
She said although the nursery, which has 120 children, was consulted about a footbridge, they were not made aware of the “size and scale” of the structure.
Previously she said the garden was secluded and about 50 children, aged three to five, were able to tend it and water the plants.
But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now.
“It’s so dangerous and I have got parents who are distraught. I’ve even had parents who have said they would potentially pull their children out.
“I cannot believe no-one has given any thought to the safety of our children. It towers over them, it’s absolutely enormous.
“This completely overlooks us. People can see through the windows from the bridge.”
A spokesman for the Bicester to Oxford Collaboration, which is made up of Chiltern Railways, Network Rail and East West Rail, said: “The Tubbs Lane bridge has been constructed to provide a safer alternative to an old level crossing on the Oxford to Bicester rail line, the bridge is ramped so that it is fully accessible to all members of the community.
“We have visited Mrs Leonard and discussed her concerns regarding the footbridge. We will continue to work to find a solution to alleviate her concerns.”
Work on the new rail link from Oxford to London Marylebone, via Bicester Town Station, started in February.
The first section from Oxford Parkway to London is due to open next summer. The entire link is due to open the following year. Work will then continue to re-open the East West rail link from Reading, via Oxford and Bicester Town Station to Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire.
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