Safety measures planned as date set for demolition of unsafe Burford footbridge

The safety of pupils and pedestrians will remain paramount once an unsafe footbridge over the A40 has been demolished, Oxfordshire County Council has said.

The pedestrian bridge, adjacent to Burford School, is set to be demolished on the weekend of October 17-18, with work taking place during the night-time.

The bridge has been hit by several vehicles over the years, leaving it in an unsafe condition. As a result, it has been closed to the public since November 2019.

It has not proved viable for the county council to repair or replace the footbridge. However, pedestrian safety remains the priority and a number of measures are planned to ensure that people - especially children - who need to cross the A40 can continue to do so safely.

A temporary crossing, controlled by traffic signals, was installed when the footbridge was closed, and this is to be made into a permanent feature. Work is due to start in February 2021 and is set to be completed by the end of March 2021.

Additional measures, including extra crossing points on the A40 and A361, plus speed limit reductions on both roads and in Burford town centre, are to be carried out as soon as possible to improve safety further. These measures are being provided both by the county council and as part of the Lioncourt housing development in the town.

Cllr Liam Walker, Cabinet member for Highways Delivery & Operations, said: “The safety of the pupils of Burford School and the pedestrians of Burford is paramount to Oxfordshire County Council.

“Unfortunately, due to the age and the condition of the bridge, we have no viable alternative other than to demolish it and replace with a permanent pedestrian controlled crossing.

“As a former pupil of Burford School, I know the importance of ensuring we have a safe crossing point for both pupils and residents,” he added. “We will continue to work with the Headteacher and her staff to ensure that the works needed to provide this new crossing will cause as little disruption as possible to the pupils during construction. 

“This scheme is another example of the commitment we have to invest in our network to ensure the safety of all users.”

Any work that needs to be carried out in the vicinity of Burford School will be done with the knowledge of the school to ensure disruption is minimised. A significant element of the most disruptive works will be carried out during half-term, and the council will be working with the school to ensure the pupils and all other users of the crossing point can cross the road in a safe and controlled manner.

For up-to-date details on the various projects in the Burford area, go to https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/roadworks/future-transport-projects