Some facts about the level crossing closure
The railway authority, Network Rail, wants to run more trains and faster trains along this line, and it cannot manage a safe level crossing with this greater usage, so it wants to get rid of the level crossing. Network Rail tells us that it would expect to replace a level crossing with a bridge where there is this level of traffic, but they are not doing so here because of the District Council’s ‘Local Plan’ to allow some 1900 houses to be built on the fields on either side of Sandy Lane.
The ‘Local Plan’ makes much of maintaining the connection between Yarnton, Begbroke and Kidlington, yet it proposes the closure of Sandy Lane as a road, and its becoming a cycle track and footpath with a pedestrian bridge to cross the railway line. The District Council’s explanation of this closure is the railway’s need to close the level crossing.
So each authority is using the other as the reason for the closure.
More houses will mean more traffic, so an even greater need for the connecting link that Sandy Lane provides. There will be new roads built and a new bus route is planned to go among the houses. This will be a better road than the twisty bit of Sandy Lane around the Garden Centre, so there could be a much better access to the level crossing than now exists.
It needs some vision on the part of our Councils and the developers of the new houses to realize this, but that is no less than we expect of them.