Network Rail work to close A417 at Challow – plan your journeys to reduce delays

The road over the bridge will close on 6 September so that Network Rail can demolish it and build a new higher structure to allow high-voltage power cables to run underneath. Network Rail’s schedule indicates that the bridge will reopen on 5 December.

Nigel Fenn, senior programme manager for Network Rail, said: "Electrification will bring huge benefits to the region but we recognise that some of the work will cause disruption to those who live or work near the railway.

“We are working closely with Oxfordshire County Council, local parish councils and other key stakeholders to minimise this disruption and I would like to take this opportunity to thank people in advance for their patience.

"This is an exciting time for the Great Western main line as we upgrade and electrify the route to transform our diesel railway into one of the most modern in Europe, providing passengers with more seats, faster journeys and cleaner, quieter trains.”

Once complete the project will deliver massive improvements to one of Britain's busiest and oldest railways, which connects major towns and cities across southern England and South Wales.

However, while the work is underway and the road closed, there will be delays for people who use the A417 as part of their daily commute.

Traffic redirected

General non-local traffic will be redirected along a signed diversion route via the A417, A420, A415 and A338 while local traffic, such as residents and businesses who need access to their properties, will be able to use smaller side roads. These side roads will be subject to weight restrictions which will prevent vehicles such as HGVs using them, although exemptions will apply for local access.

Plan your journeys

The advice from Oxfordshire County Council and Network Rail is to plan ahead and, if possible look for alternative modes of transport or travel at a different time to avoid congestion.

County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for transport, said: “The outcome of Network Rail’s electrification work will be a very modern and efficient rail line that will be an asset to the region for many years to come.

“But while they are doing their work at locations like Challow, there will inevitably be disruption.

“The county council has been working closely with Network Rail to ensure that as much is done as possible to mitigate the impact of their work and that local views are listened to and taken into account.

“Local people know all about the work, and anyone who uses the road as part of their daily commute will have seen the signs. It’s important now that you think about the things you can do to avoid congestion.”

More information

If you have any queries about the work taking place in your area please call Network Rail’s dedicated 24-hour National Helpline on 08457 11 41 41
Or email crwest@networkrail.co.uk  For further information visit http://www.networkrail.co.uk/great-western-route-modernisation/oxfordshire