The work, part of the East-West Rail project, and will see the London Road level crossing in Bicester totally upgraded, enabling a brand new section of track to be connected to the mainline.
The current level crossing needs improvements to signalling and will see 400 metres of new track installed between Gavary Junction and Charbridge Lane, which will be introduced for engineering trains.
The trains will move construction materials which are needed for the building of a new rail link between Oxford and Cambridge and will see large amounts of construction based traffic removed from local roads.
The work will see the level crossings signalling system improved by reducing waiting times for vehicles when trains pass by shortening the crossings barrier ‘down time’ to around 26 seconds for passengers trains and 42 seconds for freight trains. Also, brand new pedestrian signals will be put in place similar to those used at road crossings, which will provide a safer way for people to cross on foot.
To allow the work to be carried out in a safe environment London Road will be closed to traffic from 10 pm on Saturday the 28th of August and re-open at 4.15 am on Tuesday the 31st of August 2021, with road diversions put in place.
Pedestrians will get assistance from traffic marshals who will enable them to cross the railway safely.
Passengers using the railway are advised to plan journeys in advance at: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Mark Cuzner, East West Rail Alliance project director, said: “This marks a significant milestone in the delivery of connection stage one of East West Rail between Bicester and Bletchley. It allows engineering trains to deliver materials to site, thereby reducing the number of lorries on roads. This work also improves the time the barriers are down at the crossing therefore traffic and pedestrians will be waiting for less time and also installs new signals similar to those used at road crossings making it easier for pedestrians to safely cross.”
Simon Blanchflower CBE, chief executive at the East West Railway Company, said: “This is an important moment for the East West Rail project that highlights the solid progress that is being made to develop a railway that will bring huge benefits and improve connectivity for people who live and work across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
“This latest development means that the local community in Bicester will experience an improvement in their day to day use of the level crossing as well as a reduction in HGV lorries on their roads. All of this paves the way for us to continue building a safe and secure railway that is better for the customer and better for the environment.”
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