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Author Topic: Oxford Station - improvements, incidents and events (merged topic)  (Read 221261 times)
Rostock0
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« Reply #300 on: November 06, 2022, 10:42:45 am »

I must admit I'm surprised Oxford City Council are prepared to allow such a long full closure of Botley Road to cars.  They cycle and footpath routes are going to be very busy!

Oxford City Council probably asked for it to be as long as possible. No-one hates their residents more than Oxford City Council. I think the secretary of state for transport ought to step in here, though. Whatever the benefits are delivered by the railway improvements cannot possibly be worth the devastation caused by closing the only road into Oxford from the west for a year.
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DaveHarries
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« Reply #301 on: November 06, 2022, 12:59:18 pm »

Oxford City Council probably asked for it to be as long as possible.
My thoughts also. If they are anything like Bristol City Council then nothing would surprise me at all. I like going to Oxford for work but given the impending disruption that this will cause I am glad I don't live there!

Dave
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stuving
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« Reply #302 on: November 06, 2022, 03:13:00 pm »

Oxford City Council probably asked for it to be as long as possible.
My thoughts also. If they are anything like Bristol City Council then nothing would surprise me at all. I like going to Oxford for work but given the impending disruption that this will cause I am glad I don't live there!

Dave

The City Council is planning authority, which deals with the bridge but has little to do with the road underneath it. That belongs to the County, as the local Highway Authority. I'm not sure whether they will be doing some rebuilding of Botley Road outside Network Rail's own project, but they are in any case closely involved with that:
Quote
Oxfordshire County Council, as the local Highway Authority, is a key stakeholder in this project. The scope of the project includes highway works in addition to railway works. Whilst the developer Network Rail proposes to replace its existing rail bridges over Botley Road, it will also address:

    the vehicle headroom issues below the bridges (by lowering Botley Road)
    the historic local flooding incidents (by improving the drainage provisions)
    the Active Travel issues (by providing new pedestrian and cycle ways)

The County Council has supported this project to date, with oversight, and is included in the current Detailed Design stage and Traffic Management Planning for Network Rail’s overall delivery process.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2022, 04:22:45 pm by stuving » Logged
Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #303 on: November 06, 2022, 07:18:17 pm »

The bridge needs replacing regardless of the station works. It's sufficiently low that the bus companies need a special fleet of low-profile double-deckers to fit through it, it's unpleasant for pedestrians and downright lethal for cyclists.

The road won't be "closed", of course, just closed to motor traffic. Pedestrians can still get through and so can cyclists (if they dismount). It might make a few people think twice about driving into Oxford, and as a resident of an Oxfordshire town I know there are plenty of people who could take the direct bus, Park & Ride, or train, but don't. There will be those for whom it's a genuine inconvenience, of course, but I believe the improvements to the bridge for non-private car users - and to the railway, of course - will be worth it in the round.

(Oxford is getting a massive new fleet of electric buses in a couple of years... I presume these will be too tall to fit under the old bridge?)
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #304 on: November 07, 2022, 07:14:11 am »

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the Active Travel issues (by providing new pedestrian and cycle ways)

I assume that there will be more cyclists using the old Gas Works bridge as the Grandpont bridge will probably still be closed.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #305 on: November 07, 2022, 09:17:27 am »

The City Council is planning authority, which deals with the bridge but has little to do with the road underneath it. That belongs to the County, as the local Highway Authority. I'm not sure whether they will be doing some rebuilding of Botley Road outside Network Rail's own project…

There will be quite a lot of work done on Osney Bridge (on Botley Road over the Thames) as some temporary repairs have been in place for a year or so.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #306 on: November 07, 2022, 12:14:32 pm »

I must admit I'm surprised Oxford City Council are prepared to allow such a long full closure of Botley Road to cars.  They cycle and footpath routes are going to be very busy!

Oxford City Council probably asked for it to be as long as possible. No-one hates their residents more than Oxford City Council. I think the secretary of state for transport ought to step in here, though. Whatever the benefits are delivered by the railway improvements cannot possibly be worth the devastation caused by closing the only road into Oxford from the west for a year.

Interesting to contrast these two comments. Although IndustryInsider expresses surprise at the length of the closure, they are presumably open to the possibility that the authorities have considered all the options and decided that this is the least worst. Rostock0 on the other hand seems to think they are actively trying to antagonise the people who vote for them.

Which is more likely?

Oxford City Council probably asked for it to be as long as possible.
My thoughts also. If they are anything like Bristol City Council then nothing would surprise me at all. I like going to Oxford for work but given the impending disruption that this will cause I am glad I don't live there!

Dave

My own experience dealing with Bristol City Council (councillors and officers) is that they have an extremely difficult balancing act to perform, on a shoestring budget. I don't envy them. They are very rarely able to make a simple choice between a good and a bad option; they almost always have to choose between a range of options all of which are bad for someone. And they can't just keep things as they are: populations grow, usage and travel patterns change, infrastructure wears out and local and central policies shift for one reason or another.

It takes time and effort to respond to the consultations they put out before starting projects like these, but it's probably the best way to make your voice heard if you genuinely think a mistake is being made. Too late for this scheme though!
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ChrisB
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« Reply #307 on: November 08, 2022, 11:50:14 am »

There are updates from both the Coiunty Council Highways & NR» (Network Rail - home page) this morning

From OCC

The updated part
Quote
The council recognises that there would be challenges implementing the six trial traffic filters during the works for the replacement of the rail bridge and the closure of Botley Road as a result. If the council’s cabinet agrees to implement the trial filters, there would be a further recommendation that this should happen after the Botley Road reopens.

And NR

Quote
Community drop-in event – Thursday 17 November
The next community drop-in event is due to be held on afternoon of Thursday 17 November at the West Oxford Community Centre on Botley Road.

Members of the project team will be in the Mary Town Room between 13:00 and 17:00.
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Rostock0
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« Reply #308 on: December 10, 2022, 08:07:31 am »

The Botley Road closure was supposed to start on January 9th, but that's been delayed now.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #309 on: December 10, 2022, 10:26:41 am »

First report said that NR» (Network Rail - home page) weren’t ready to start work on January 9th, further reports said that they were working to reduce the closure time.

Having issued the contract to Keir, it seems as it is they that aren’t ready? And as it’s Keir, presumably not caught yp in the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) NR disruption?
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stuving
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« Reply #310 on: December 10, 2022, 10:53:50 am »

First report said that NR» (Network Rail - home page) weren’t ready to start work on January 9th, further reports said that they were working to reduce the closure time.

Having issued the contract to Keir, it seems as it is they that aren’t ready? And as it’s Keir, presumably not caught yp in the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) NR disruption?

NR have put a different slant on this:
Quote
Botley Road closure update

Replacing the bridge over Botley Road to facilitate a new platform, western entrance and road improvements is an incredibly complex project, which needs to be completed by the end of 2024 in time for the start of East West Rail services.

With it not only being vital for local transport provision, there are also multiple key utility services connecting to west of the city running both beneath the road and over the top of the bridge. So there are a number of significant challenges to overcome before work on the bridge can start.

We are working with partners to refine our plans for the delivery of the works to enhance the station and do not now need to start the full closure of Botley Road in January.

Part of this review is looking at how to reduce the impact of our work on the local community. Further details will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Kier have been digging holes, to find out what's where, for a couple of weeks now. They have also been doing their own thinking about how best to organise the work. So I'd guess they have said to NR not only "we need more time for preparation", but also "we don't need such a long road closure if we do it this way...".
« Last Edit: December 10, 2022, 04:19:11 pm by stuving » Logged
ChrisB
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« Reply #311 on: December 10, 2022, 03:17:16 pm »

There's a report due to go into the City Council about the revision on December 14....
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