Think around crossing
The amount of time the level crossing on London Road is closed every hour now and in the future has been a contentious issue for years. Perhaps, if action had been taken to incorporate plans for a bridge or tunnel into the track upgrade works we may not be in the situation we’re in today. However, now that we’re here it’s worth looking beyond solutions like a bridge or a tunnel that simply serve to allow the same number of vehicles over the crossing. The downtime problem presents an opportunity to encourage people to reduce their dependence on cars to get to and from the town centre.
Either a bridge or a tunnel, according to a recent Bicester Advertiser article, would cost at least £44m. However, the need for a bridge or tunnel seems to be based on the assumption that a certain number of vehicles need to use London Road. Taking steps to reduce the use of cars would not only go some way to mitigating the problem of crossing downtime but would also improve air quality and public health. This could be done at a much lower cost than £44m. Providing a footbridge over the tracks at London Road along with better cycling infrastructure would be the place to start.
Robert Nixon, Chair, North Oxfordshire Green Party
This letter is a version of a letter that appeared in the Bicester Advertiser on Thursday January 24th 2019. The original as printed: