Footpath Matters

Achtung! Crash!

We have been hit at 100mph by Chiltern Railways, owned by Deutsche Bahn, who wish to upgrade the Oxford-Bicester line to this speed. The result will be numerous diversions and closures along the line; the most serious of these are:

  1. closure of the path across North Oxford golf course, removing the last remaining east-west link close to Oxford and effectively closing the Kidlington Circular Walk
  2. closure of Wendlebury FP2 south of the railway over the SSSI
  3. removal of the path from Weston-on-the-Green to Charlton-on-Otmoor which is to be diverted to Oddington.

In addition, the Oxfordshire Way is to be diverted along Islip FP4, crossing the railway by a bridge, then past Brookfurlong Farm to rejoin the route north of the railway. This is probably inevitable as the existing crossing involves walking along the railway for about 70 metres. Also the Oxford Green Belt Way is to be diverted to the bridge at Northfield Farm. All the crossings north of the M40 are to be retained with minimal diversion.


According to the BBC website there is to be a public inquiry into the proposed Great Steventon Reservoir; the Environment Secretary has stated that there is "not enough detail" in Thames Water's Resources Management Plan (which seems to be as leaky as its pipes).

Other Matters

We are receiving the usual number of "privacy" diversions; most of them are minor but some raise issues of public enjoyment. The diversions at the cancer centre have been confirmed; the Inspector expressly stated that it was not his role to consider alternatives, and this would appear to be correct on a literal reading of the law; perhaps the only way to put up an alternative route is to maintain that it trumps the "expediency" of the order route. A claim to upgrade several paths in Newington and Stadhampton to BOAT and bridleway has been rejected. The path from the dead-end at Shiplake (FP37) to Mill Lane has been confirmed, making a continuous link from towpath to road.

David Godfrey