Fears grow six-month road closure will ‘cause traffic chaos’

thisisoxfordshire: Traffic chaos is feared on the A388 Traffic chaos is feared on the A388

THE A338 from Wantage to Oxford will close for up to six months next year amid fears of “traffic chaos”.

From February 10, 11,600 journeys made every day on the road will have to use an alternative route, yet to be decided.

The road will be closed for Network Rail to raise the Station Road bridge at the Volunteer pub by several feet for its electrification project.

Oxfordshire county councillor for Grove Zoe Patrick said: “It will be absolute chaos.

“The problem is trying to get the bus services to continue running and get people to their destinations in Oxford.

“It will mean traffic chaos at a time of year when the weather can be bad anyway.”

The next quickest route to Oxford or Abingdon will be by taking the A34 at Didcot.

Grove Parish Council member for transport, Jean Nunn-Price, said: “People are already saying it is difficult to countenance such a thing.

“It gets so congested around Wantage the moment anything is closed.”

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed it has received plans from Network Rail to close the A338 for six months.

Spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “We are considering the application and will speak to them to see if alternative options can be investigated.”

He also revealed that the council was hoping to create pedestrian footways on the bridge at the same time.

Network Rail spokesman Kate Snowden said: “The exact timings, details and length of the closure of the bridge is yet to be decided.

“Our contractor has identified additional strengthening works. We want to find a solution that creates as little disruption as possible.”

The work is part of Network Rail’s £1bn electrification scheme, installing overhead wires to power trains on the Great Western main line from London to Bristol by 2016.

A total of 27 bridges in the county will need works.

The closure will require Stagecoach to re-route three bus routes that carry hundreds of people to Oxford daily.

Stagecoach business manager Karen Coventry said: “In preparation for the bridge closure, we are working to come up with the best possible solutions for passengers on our 31, 34 and X30 routes.

“Details will be made available once this has been agreed.”

Grove parish council was last night due to meet a Network Rail official for the public to ask questions.

Comments (20)

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11:20am Wed 18 Dec 13

Mark L. says...

Hope they are not thinking of doing this at the same time as the work on the A34 junction at Chilton. South Oxfordshire will grind to a halt.
Hope they are not thinking of doing this at the same time as the work on the A34 junction at Chilton. South Oxfordshire will grind to a halt. Mark L.

11:30am Wed 18 Dec 13

Fallguy27 says...

ooo
ooo Fallguy27

11:32am Wed 18 Dec 13

Fallguy27 says...

Nice picture of traffic chaos, I wondered what that looked like.
Nice picture of traffic chaos, I wondered what that looked like. Fallguy27

11:38am Wed 18 Dec 13

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress.
It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress. ## Nonny Mouse ##

11:45am Wed 18 Dec 13

Will.S says...

Well, at least Wantage & Grove will get a chance to see the traffic chaos they we will have constantly on their roads when those 4000 plus homes are forced on the small rural community.
Thanks for looking after us so well useless local and national politicians!
Well, at least Wantage & Grove will get a chance to see the traffic chaos they we will have constantly on their roads when those 4000 plus homes are forced on the small rural community. Thanks for looking after us so well useless local and national politicians! Will.S

11:47am Wed 18 Dec 13

Will.S says...

## Nonny Mouse ## wrote:
It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress.
I'm guessing you dont live there then? hence the glib statement.
[quote][p][bold]## Nonny Mouse ##[/bold] wrote: It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing you dont live there then? hence the glib statement. Will.S

12:02pm Wed 18 Dec 13

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

Will.S wrote:
## Nonny Mouse ## wrote:
It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress.
I'm guessing you dont live there then? hence the glib statement.
I do, and it will affect my commute. It will be a total pain, but it is completely necessary if Network Rail are to do the work.

I just get fed up with NIMBYism. We wouldn't have what we have today without some form of progress through sacrifice. (whether or not we will experience the benefit is debatable, i admit.)

Also, i agree with Will.S. I see alot of planned housing but not alot of planned logistical improvements or amenities.....
[quote][p][bold]Will.S[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]## Nonny Mouse ##[/bold] wrote: It will be a PITA, but if it needs doing, it needs doing. You can't stand in the way of progress.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing you dont live there then? hence the glib statement.[/p][/quote]I do, and it will affect my commute. It will be a total pain, but it is completely necessary if Network Rail are to do the work. I just get fed up with NIMBYism. We wouldn't have what we have today without some form of progress through sacrifice. (whether or not we will experience the benefit is debatable, i admit.) Also, i agree with Will.S. I see alot of planned housing but not alot of planned logistical improvements or amenities..... ## Nonny Mouse ##

12:44pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Will.S wrote:
Well, at least Wantage & Grove will get a chance to see the traffic chaos they we will have constantly on their roads when those 4000 plus homes are forced on the small rural community.
Thanks for looking after us so well useless local and national politicians!
Small rural community of 20,000 people...

Would help if you were allowed a railway station though.
[quote][p][bold]Will.S[/bold] wrote: Well, at least Wantage & Grove will get a chance to see the traffic chaos they we will have constantly on their roads when those 4000 plus homes are forced on the small rural community. Thanks for looking after us so well useless local and national politicians![/p][/quote]Small rural community of 20,000 people... Would help if you were allowed a railway station though. Andrew:Oxford

1:23pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Neonlights says...

Rather than raising the height of the bridge, why not lower the ground level the tracks are on? Plenty of other places along the Bristol to Didcot line have made provision to overcome flooding of the line, so why not here too?

I dread to think what the traffic along the A417 will be like if the A338 is going to close. It only takes one road closure at the moment through something like an RTA for it to be chaos on one of the other roads where traffic seek an alternate route.
Rather than raising the height of the bridge, why not lower the ground level the tracks are on? Plenty of other places along the Bristol to Didcot line have made provision to overcome flooding of the line, so why not here too? I dread to think what the traffic along the A417 will be like if the A338 is going to close. It only takes one road closure at the moment through something like an RTA for it to be chaos on one of the other roads where traffic seek an alternate route. Neonlights

2:23pm Wed 18 Dec 13

oxinkytext says...

Agree with Fallguy27 about the traffic chaos photo. For goodness sake OM, please don't treat us all like idiots and at least show a scene of the LOCAL spot, not some arbitrary library image.

As for the closure, clearly the work has to be done. We all cry out for improved infrastructure and this particular bridge has long been a blackpot and needed work for years. It is good to see that in addition to new footpaths, the opportunity is being taken to make the necessary enhancements for a new Grove station at the same time (crucial fact missing from this half-baked report).

The real question is how can the works be carried out with minimal disruption and from what I can gather this is all still under investigation by OCC/Network Rail. There can be no gain without some pain.
Agree with Fallguy27 about the traffic chaos photo. For goodness sake OM, please don't treat us all like idiots and at least show a scene of the LOCAL spot, not some arbitrary library image. As for the closure, clearly the work has to be done. We all cry out for improved infrastructure and this particular bridge has long been a blackpot and needed work for years. It is good to see that in addition to new footpaths, the opportunity is being taken to make the necessary enhancements for a new Grove station at the same time (crucial fact missing from this half-baked report). The real question is how can the works be carried out with minimal disruption and from what I can gather this is all still under investigation by OCC/Network Rail. There can be no gain without some pain. oxinkytext

2:24pm Wed 18 Dec 13

lil_miss_ME says...

The alternative route is the a34.....god help us all when there is an accident closing the a34, or as the report says, the bad weather which also makes it grind to a halt! How about the whole county just shuts down for 6 months!?
The alternative route is the a34.....god help us all when there is an accident closing the a34, or as the report says, the bad weather which also makes it grind to a halt! How about the whole county just shuts down for 6 months!? lil_miss_ME

2:46pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Madi50n says...

I am so glad I left and moved closer to Oxford, this is going to cause Grove and Wantage a bit of a mare. I can see a lo of cars taking the back roads through to Hanney too.
I am so glad I left and moved closer to Oxford, this is going to cause Grove and Wantage a bit of a mare. I can see a lo of cars taking the back roads through to Hanney too. Madi50n

2:52pm Wed 18 Dec 13

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

I did also hear (can't verify it though) that the Denchworth Road bridge will be closed for repairs for a few weeks during this period aswell. It will push alot of traffic onto the A417 which is already very busy.
I did also hear (can't verify it though) that the Denchworth Road bridge will be closed for repairs for a few weeks during this period aswell. It will push alot of traffic onto the A417 which is already very busy. ## Nonny Mouse ##

4:29pm Wed 18 Dec 13

downsview says...

RailTrack/OCC should be explaining why they don't build a new bridge before this piece of antiquity is pensioned off?
Thats what they did outside Pangbourne know as skew bridge on the A329 about 10 years ago.
RailTrack/OCC should be explaining why they don't build a new bridge before this piece of antiquity is pensioned off? Thats what they did outside Pangbourne know as skew bridge on the A329 about 10 years ago. downsview

4:59pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

downsview wrote:
RailTrack/OCC should be explaining why they don't build a new bridge before this piece of antiquity is pensioned off?
Thats what they did outside Pangbourne know as skew bridge on the A329 about 10 years ago.
Railtrack? Where have you been since 2002!
[quote][p][bold]downsview[/bold] wrote: RailTrack/OCC should be explaining why they don't build a new bridge before this piece of antiquity is pensioned off? Thats what they did outside Pangbourne know as skew bridge on the A329 about 10 years ago.[/p][/quote]Railtrack? Where have you been since 2002! Andrew:Oxford

5:42pm Wed 18 Dec 13

sarahmw says...

In the centre of Reading a railway bridge was widened over a dual carriage way, and it was completed in about a week. And the traffic never stopped. It took several years to plan, the bridge was prefabricated and lowered into place. Crews worked 24 hour shifts. It was also done over Christmas and the New Year!

Now if that was Oxfordshire it would be done during the summer term when it would cause maximum problems, without any prefabrication, no 24 hour shifts and lots of road closures.
In the centre of Reading a railway bridge was widened over a dual carriage way, and it was completed in about a week. And the traffic never stopped. It took several years to plan, the bridge was prefabricated and lowered into place. Crews worked 24 hour shifts. It was also done over Christmas and the New Year! Now if that was Oxfordshire it would be done during the summer term when it would cause maximum problems, without any prefabrication, no 24 hour shifts and lots of road closures. sarahmw

10:56pm Wed 18 Dec 13

East Oxford Web Watcher says...

Why can't they just build a temporary bridge over the top like they did a few years ago at water eaton, when they done the work on the Oxford to Kidlington bridge over the A34
Why can't they just build a temporary bridge over the top like they did a few years ago at water eaton, when they done the work on the Oxford to Kidlington bridge over the A34 East Oxford Web Watcher

10:37am Thu 19 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

sarahmw wrote:
In the centre of Reading a railway bridge was widened over a dual carriage way, and it was completed in about a week. And the traffic never stopped. It took several years to plan, the bridge was prefabricated and lowered into place. Crews worked 24 hour shifts. It was also done over Christmas and the New Year!

Now if that was Oxfordshire it would be done during the summer term when it would cause maximum problems, without any prefabrication, no 24 hour shifts and lots of road closures.
The people of Wolvercote have already made clear their feelings concerning work done on Christmas day...

http://www.oxfordtim
es.co.uk/forum/lette
rs/10867181.Not_much
_Christmas_cheer_in_
Wolvercote/

Network Rail can't win...
[quote][p][bold]sarahmw[/bold] wrote: In the centre of Reading a railway bridge was widened over a dual carriage way, and it was completed in about a week. And the traffic never stopped. It took several years to plan, the bridge was prefabricated and lowered into place. Crews worked 24 hour shifts. It was also done over Christmas and the New Year! Now if that was Oxfordshire it would be done during the summer term when it would cause maximum problems, without any prefabrication, no 24 hour shifts and lots of road closures.[/p][/quote]The people of Wolvercote have already made clear their feelings concerning work done on Christmas day... http://www.oxfordtim es.co.uk/forum/lette rs/10867181.Not_much _Christmas_cheer_in_ Wolvercote/ Network Rail can't win... Andrew:Oxford

3:06pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Richard of Wantage says...

"the council was hoping to create pedestrian footways on the bridge at the same time. " - where too! There is nothing on the other side of the bridge apart from fields.

If you are going to rebuild the bridge then make it wide enough so in the future new rail lines can be laid for a new local line enabling Wantage station to be reopened. At the moment Wantage station can not be reopened as the local line stops at Didcot.
"the council was hoping to create pedestrian footways on the bridge at the same time. " - where too! There is nothing on the other side of the bridge apart from fields. If you are going to rebuild the bridge then make it wide enough so in the future new rail lines can be laid for a new local line enabling Wantage station to be reopened. At the moment Wantage station can not be reopened as the local line stops at Didcot. Richard of Wantage

3:30pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Hannah H says...

Richard of Wantage wrote:
"the council was hoping to create pedestrian footways on the bridge at the same time. " - where too! There is nothing on the other side of the bridge apart from fields.

If you are going to rebuild the bridge then make it wide enough so in the future new rail lines can be laid for a new local line enabling Wantage station to be reopened. At the moment Wantage station can not be reopened as the local line stops at Didcot.
Yes I'd like to know where the footbridge will lead to...

It would be amazing if they could plan for reopening the station at Wantage - at least we'd get something out of the chaos. (Small chance of that).

I use the bus to get to work and I would like some concrete information about what is going to happen well in advance i.e. much more than a month. I'm not against the work with extensive planning but I would definitely protest if Network Rail tried to close more than one road at a time.
[quote][p][bold]Richard of Wantage[/bold] wrote: "the council was hoping to create pedestrian footways on the bridge at the same time. " - where too! There is nothing on the other side of the bridge apart from fields. If you are going to rebuild the bridge then make it wide enough so in the future new rail lines can be laid for a new local line enabling Wantage station to be reopened. At the moment Wantage station can not be reopened as the local line stops at Didcot.[/p][/quote]Yes I'd like to know where the footbridge will lead to... It would be amazing if they could plan for reopening the station at Wantage - at least we'd get something out of the chaos. (Small chance of that). I use the bus to get to work and I would like some concrete information about what is going to happen well in advance i.e. much more than a month. I'm not against the work with extensive planning but I would definitely protest if Network Rail tried to close more than one road at a time. Hannah H

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