Thursday 8 Dec 2016
Safety boost for Oxford residents as new footbridge opens as part of Railway Upgrade Plan
Oxford residents will be safer and school children will benefit from a bigger playground thanks to a new footbridge installed over the railway by Network Rail.
Opened on Monday (5 December), the new 80-tonne bridge spans 40 metres over the railway. It replaces a pedestrian level crossing meaning people no longer need to walk across the tracks at Aristotle Lane, Oxford.
The upgrade to the crossing underlines Network Rail’s commitment to improving safety on the railway, which has already seen more than 1,000 level crossings closed on Britain’s rail network.
The new footbridge also helped to free up space for St Phillip & St James' Primary School to extend their recreation facilities. Pupils from the school were present to celebrate the opening of the new bridge, complete with festive attire.
Rob Mashford, Network Rail’s programme manager, said: “The opening of this footbridge and the subsequent closure of the pedestrian level crossing is another positive step in our campaign to improve safety across the country’s rail network.
“We have the safest railway in Europe, and we are committed to improving the safety of the railway even further as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“I would like to thank residents for their patience as this footbridge was constructed, and I would also like to thank the pupils of St Phillip & St James' School for being here to officially open it.”
Oxfordshire County Councillor Jean Fooks, said: “I want to say how wonderful it is to see the new footbridge open and I’m pleased to see the school getting some land to extend their playground. I thank Network Rail very, very much for finally making this happen.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.