Constructive discussions about a solution to the London Road crossing continued between local Councillors, Victoria Prentis MP and the CEO of East West Rail, Beth West, today.
Barrier downtime at the crossing continues to be a significant issue and the situation looks set to worsen when East West Rail fully opens. In a public consultation held last Spring, East West Rail Ltd conceded that signalling improvements alone would not be a sufficient response to increased usage on the line and that a more radical solution for the crossing would be required but their proposals lacked sufficient detail.
Bicester Conservative Councillors and Victoria Prentis have been campaigning for an acceptable solution to the London Road crossing for several years. When Victoria and local Councillors met with Ms West last summer, they stressed that any solution must retain access to the station and town centre from the south of the town. Ms West confirmed that proposals were being worked up and today reiterated that EWR is working hard to find a solution which achieves this.
Councillors Dan Sames (Cherwell District Councillor for Bicester South and Ambrosden Ward), Michael Waine (Oxfordshire County Councillor for Bicester Town Division) and Lynn Pratt (Cherwell District Councillor for Bicester North Ward) who attended the meeting said: "The residents of Bicester have been waiting a long time for a meaningful proposal on the London Road crossing. We know that there is not an easy fix but closing the crossing without adequate access for residents from the south of the town would be unacceptable so it was good to hear that work on an alternative solution is continuing."
Victoria Prentis MP added: "The London Road crossing has been an issue which I have worked on since I was first elected. The councillors and I were all in agreement that work on a viable solution is continuing in the right direction. I look forward to seeing East West Rail’s formal consultation response later this year."
The cross-party meeting was also attended by local Lib Dem and Independent Councillors.