‘Important’ Oxford inter-village access road could be closed
District councillor for Kidlington West, Dorothy Walker, said it is “practically set in stone” that Network Rail will close the Sandy Lane crossing which links Yarnton and Kidlington, north of Oxford.
This is one of three level crossings, including Tackley and Yarnton, that the rail company said it is aiming to close by the end of 2024.
Drivers who want to move between the two villages would have to use the A44 or A4260, roads which Ms Walker said already experience “frequent congestion”.
“People living in Yarnton need to be able to easily get to and from schools, supermarkets, medical services, leisure facilities, care homes and churches.”
The closure considerations come at a time of major housing growth around Kidlington.
Ms Moran added: “The push to deliver Oxford’s unmet housing need continues to impact upon villages and settlements outside the city.
“Villagers in Yarnton, Begbroke and Kidlington regularly complain about its negative impacts, including growing traffic congestion, slower journey times, poorer air quality, crowded buses and pressure on GPs.”
In similarly frustrated tones, district councillors representing Kidlington West spoke out against the potential closure.
Ms Walker said: “It seems incredible that, confronted with ever-mounting congestion on our road network, we are contemplating the closure of this vital inter-village road.”
District councillor Lesley McLean added: “While planners have proposed some mitigations for journeys in and out of Oxford, they must also recognise that connectivity between Begbroke, Yarnton and Kidlington is extremely important for our residents and businesses.”
A third Kidlington councillor, Jean Conway, had environmental concerns.
She said: “Pushing the current 2,000 plus vehicles movements on Sandy Lane onto the longer, slower A44 or A4260 routes will equate to an extra 1.5 million car miles per year, generating a substantial increase in emissions.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Following our public consultation earlier this year, we continue to work on our plans to close the level crossings at Tackley, Sandy Lane and Yarnton and replace them with alternative ways of crossing the railway.”
Cherwell District Council has been contacted for comment.
Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.
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- ^ Oxford (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ This area was listed in top 10 wealthiest places (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ The Sandy Lane crossing (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ Abingdon (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ Oxford United (www.thisisunited.com)
- ^ Cherwell District Council (www.cherwell-dc.gov.uk)
- ^ Bicester (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ traffic (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ Oxfordshire County Council (www.oxfordshire.gov.uk)
- ^ Matthew Norman (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)