Network Rail are electrifying the Great Western Mainline which runs through (but does not stop in) the Vale of White Horse District. As part of the works, road bridges are being replaced. One of the bridges is at Challow on the A417 (this used to be the site of Challow Station).
Oxfordshire County Council has given its inital agreement to allow Challow Bridge to be closed for FOUR months by Network Rail from September to complete the works.
The Vale of White Horse is already set for a summer of traffic mayhem as a result of the closure of the A420 at Watchfield. That travel misery now looks set to drag on until Christmas. Faringdon and Western Vale residents will be particularly hard hit by the double whammy of the closure of the A420 and A417 consecutively. The A417 is a vital route for businesses and citizens of the Vale, particularly those who need to travel between Faringdon and Wantage - two of the largest centres of population in the District. Both of these town centres (which have struggled, but are now seeing a revival in interest and trade) will suffer badly.
Oxfordshire County Council found a solution for the same problem on the A338 by insisting that Network Rail installs a second bridge that will eventually permanently replace the original.
We ask that Oxfordshire County Council enforces the same solution at Challow.
The A417 is a vital route for our community's economy and can not be allowed to close for a quarter of the year (including the Christmas period). Please stand up for your consituents and insist that Network Rail provides a satisfactory solution that will keep our roads open.