Thursday 6 Apr 2017
Safety boost for Oxfordshire residents as new footbridge opens as part of Railway Upgrade Plan
Oxfordshire residents will benefit from a safer way to cross the railway following the opening of a new footbridge near Uffington by Network Rail.
The new 50-tonne bridge spans the two track railway, replacing a pedestrian level crossing and removing the need for pedestrians to walk across the tracks.
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 was opened last Friday (March 31) by Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage, along with staff from Network Rail and contractors, Murphy.
The occasion was also marked with help from the 1st Stanford-in-the-Vale Scout group, who built a ‘Bug Hotel’ using leftover wooden materials to help encourage and increase biodiversity in the area. The hotel was built on site and will be transported to a local community garden.
Aron Ventress, Network Rail’s senior 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. The new footbridge also paves the way for the new new fleet of electric trains.
“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.
Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage, said: “I was delighted to open this new footbridge, a much safer way for locals to cross the track than the old pedestrian level crossing.
The “Bug Hotel” created by the 1st Stanford-in the-Vale Scout group was inspired and I look forward to seeing it in place in Uffington Community Garden”
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.