A petition to install a pedestrian underpass at an important level crossing is gaining lots of support.

Claire Brenner, a householder and mother of two young children in Bicester, started the Change.org petition to ensure a pedestrian underpass is put in place at the London Road level crossing, when it is eventually closed by East West Rail and the new line is in full operation.

It already has over 350 signatures.

READ MORE: What is the best school in Oxfordshire

Campaigners have pointed out if the London Road crossing is closed and replaced with a high bridge, there will be no accessible crossings between north and south Bicester.

The petition argues that a bridge would need to be up to eight metres tall with several flights of stairs, or a very long and contorted ramp, whereas an underpass could be just two and a half metres deep, and direct.

Ms Brenner said: “I started this petition because I was worried the voice of the vulnerable people of Bicester was being ignored by East West Rail.

“Only one option was proposed for pedestrians, compared to five for cars, and this was a high bridge that few pedestrians could or would use.

“Large numbers of people live within easy walking and cycling distance of the town centre, but will be cut off without an accessible underpass because they don’t drive, don’t own a vehicle, or would prefer to walk or cycle.

Jane Tarrant, founder of Link Breathing, a wellness programme in Bicester, said: “With the crossing being so central, I feel that it would be wrong to prevent access to those who already live close to the town and rely on suitable pedestrian access.

“An underpass really is the only suitable option for widespread accessibility.

A third campaigner, Michael Truby, said: “My father suffers from Parkinson’s disease and lives the other side of the railway line to town, and not having a solution like this will severely limit him.”

Beth West, CEO, East West Railway Company, said: “The crossing at London Road provides a vital link for communities in Bicester and we want to improve how pedestrians, cyclists and motorists cross the railway in future.

“This includes making the crossing safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists and we have been working closely with Victoria Prentis MP and local councillors to achieve this.

“Since we published six proposals to replace the level crossing, we have been carefully considering people’s feedback to find the best solution for all users.

“This has included additional options that have been sent to us, including an underpass solely for pedestrians and cyclists.

“More detailed proposals are being prepared and will be shared in a future consultation - when we publish these, we would actively encourage anyone who uses the crossing to share their thoughts and ideas with us to help ensure the crossing is safe and convenient for all users.”


Read more from this author

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.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1