All parties to a recent meeting have agreed on the objective to keep a much-debated crossing open for vehicle users.

MP Victoria Prentis chaired a meeting between Bicester’s councillors and East West Rail (EWR) to get an update on the London Road crossing project last week.

The meeting follows a public consultation carried out last year by EWR, and although a ‘formal response’ is still being worked on, the meeting had positive outcomes for those who want the crossing to stay open.

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Calum Miller, councillor for the Otmoor division in Bicester, who was present at the meeting, said: “There’s agreement on the objective to keep London Road crossing open, but proposals are still being assessed and uncertainty about the final funding figure remains.

“So, while it’s good to have that news, it isn’t yet a firm guarantee.”

Mrs Prentis echoed this sentiment: “CEO of EWR Beth West assured us that her team are working hard to find a viable solution which does not simply close the crossing and cut our town in half.

“They are working up the most viable options for London Road in greater detail.

“We had a productive discussion on the benefits and disadvantages which come with each solution.

“The proposals presented to us at the meeting were evidence that EWR are keeping all possibilities on the table and are prepared to think outside the box to secure the best possible solution.

“The councillors and I were all in agreement that work on a viable solution is continuing in the right direction.

“We look forward to seeing EWR’s formal consultation response later this year.”

EWR plans to increase train services in Bicester, meaning the frequency of trains passing though the level crossing at London Road would rise and the crossing could be closed for up to 50 minutes every hour.

In 2021, EWR held a public consultation asking members of the public for their views on six different proposals for the level crossing, including a bridge, underpass and a complete closure of the crossing to vehicles.

1,300 signed a petition opposing the option to close it.

Closing London Road and forcing all traffic around the town via the A41 would cut the town in half, making it more difficult to access the town centre from the south.

Bicester’s county councillors say it is ‘critical’ that people can still cross the town and that ‘infrastructure decisions should support connection between its residents, not segregation’.

The councillors also outlined important factors including that Bicester is a ‘rapidly growing town’; the alternative road routes to London Road are not suitable and that many journeys along the London Road connect people to family, work and school.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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