Wolvercote villagers reassured over bridge access

Goose Green bridge
Image caption There have been concerns that Network Rail could restrict Goose Green bridge to three tonnes

Residents in lower Wolvercote have been reassured that access will not be limited to their village.

People were concerned that weight restrictions would be imposed on the main bridge into the north Oxford village following an engineer's report.

But Rodney Rose, the Conservative cabinet member for transport at Oxfordshire County Council, said access would not be affected.

He said: "I'm going to guarantee that we're going to keep buses going over."

It is possible that Network Rail could restrict the capacity of the Goose Green bridge, but in a statement it said: "Original plans to replace the bridge have been revised owing to lack of funding from the council.

"However, Network Rail plans to carry out strengthening works in the coming months to maintain the bridge to what is required."

Jean Fooks, Liberal Democrat councillor for Summertown and Wolvercote, said she was concerned that if Network Rail rebuilt the bridge it would do the minimum required and leave it with a capacity that would restrict certain types of vehicle like bin lorries and delivery vans.

Image caption Councillor Rodney Rose said he would guarantee access to buses into the village

"The worry is they wouldn't have to do more than replace it to an 18-tonne capacity bridge and that isn't enough to serve lower Wolvercote," she said.

But while Mr Rose conceded that any plans to upgrade the bridge had been delayed due to financial restraints, he said the concerns about the capacity of the bridge were unfounded.

"As long as it's carrying the current traffic that covers the needs of lower Wolvercote and the status quo can be maintained then the local people should be as happy as they can be with that," he said.

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