Oxford, United Kingdom: Crossing closure opponent surprised by planning approval

8 Nov

Although the Oxford City Council has agreed to give-up its rights over the Aristotle Lane private footpath level crossing in the north of the city, some users of the level crossing are still actively campaigning for it to be retained. This is because they do not see the rerouting of the private access via a nearby bridge to reach their allotments as acceptable. This is despite an agreement to upgrade the access via the bridge route being upgraded before the level crossing is eliminated.

The Aristotle Lane level crossing is on a route which will see an increase in the number of trains by 100% to 22 per hour by the end of the decade. In addition line-speed is to be raised from 70 to 90 mph.

Now, allotment holder Ian Salisbury who applied for planning permission, to construct an extra railway track over the level crossing, in the expectation that it would be rejected by the City Council. as part of his campaign to prevent the closure of the level crossing has been approved. This is because Oxford City Council considers the works proposed by Network Rail to be lawful, the very thing that Mr Salisbury did not want to hear as rejection of his planning application would in his eyes have challenged the right of Network Rail to proceed with its own scheme to add an extra track.

No doubt, Mr Salisbury will try and find further routes to challenge the legitimacy of Network Rail’s project proceeding under permitted development rights.

2 Responses to “Oxford, United Kingdom: Crossing closure opponent surprised by planning approval”

  1. Andrew Fraser November 8, 2013 at 10:53 #

    Difficult to understand quite what the problem is here, but re-routing a long-standing pedestrian route needs careful consideration – as 1960s motorway builders have probably not learned to their cost. It tends to cost the lives of pedestrians – something for which “permitted development rights” may not properly account.

    • aidannelson November 12, 2013 at 11:36 #

      I have first hand knowledge of this level crossing and the alternative route that is to be upgraded. The authorised user of this level crossing has already to give up the right to use the crossing and therefore its elimination once the alternative route is upgraded. My personal view is that the crossing should have, on safety grounds, have been eliminated years ago given the alternative route to the allotments. Again, my personal opinion is that, it is self-evident that the continued opposition to the closure by some of the allotment holders (who are not authorised users but there with the consent of the authorised use) is without merit.

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