When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Railway bridges given new protected status
SEVEN railway structures across Oxfordshire have been given protected status bec-ause of their historic importance.
The structures along the Great Western main line include two viaducts and five bridges.
Earlier this year English Heritage held a consultation on the status of 50 bridges, tunnels and buildings along the line and as a result 42 of them have either been listed, or had their listing upgraded.
The newly-protected buildings include Gatehampton Viaduct in South Oxfordshire, which was built between 1838 and 1840 and is now Grade II-listed, and Culham Station Overbridge, which was built in 1844 and is also Grade II-listed.
Moulsford Viaduct has been upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* while Thame Lane Bridge and Silly Bridge have both been listed at Grade II.
Bourton Bridge and Bourton Church Bridge in the Vale of the White Horse have both been Grade II-listed.
Emily Gee, head of designation at English Heritage, said: “This scale of consultation on designation cases is unusual for English Heritage and we were delighted with the thoughtful responses we received from railway history experts, local authorities and other heritage bodies.
“I am also impressed by Network Rail ’s commitment to respecting the special structures in their care.”
Structures which were not given protection include Appleford road bridge, Steventon railway cottages and Culham Station, which is already listed but was not upgraded.
The Great Western line was built 176 years ago by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and runs for 116 miles between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads.
In Oxfordshire it runs through Goring, Cholsey, Didcot and Uffington.
Patrick Hallgate, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The Great Western railway is undergoing the biggest investment since it was built in order to deliver faster and more reliable journeys for passengers.
“The results of the consultation by English Heritage, and supported by Network Rail, provide an important step forward in modernising this historic rail route.”