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Work on railway over Christmas angers residents
THE QUIET of Christmas morning looks set to be broken for families in one part of Oxford this year – with Network Rail starting work on lifting and replacing tracks.
The major engineering works near the Godstow Road area of Wolvercote, will start at 12.30am on Christmas day.
On Saturday the Oxford Mail reported that rail passengers were being warned to plan ahead if they are travelling over Christmas and New Year because of delays.
But now residents have contacted county councillor for Wolvercote and Summertown Jean Fooks about the noise the work may cause.
Mrs Fooks said: “I have had very understandable anger from residents at noisy work being carried out over Christmas, at night as well as during the day. I have asked Network Rail if it is really necessary and it maintains that the work has to be done when no trains are running, for the safety of staff.
“I hope that they will do the absolute minimum of disruptive work during the night and on Christmas Day itself.”
Elmthorpe Road resident David Gautrey said: “We are all accustomed to such work being carried out during the holiday periods, but the impact of this surely goes beyond what is necessary or what should be permitted.”
As part of the work Network Rail will begin cutting and lifting out existing sections of track at 12.30am on Christmas Day then be excavating and replacing the track bed from 3am. More work will begin on Boxing Day at 5.30pm, and at 7.30am the following day Network Rail will begin cutting the new rails for the track.
Network Rail spokes-man Dayle Sellars said: “We recognise there is never a good time to carry out extensive work on the railway – more passengers are using the railway now than ever before which means it is always busy.
“As always, we will aim to keep noise and disruption to an absolute minimum for the local community.”
As a result of the work, CrossCountry and First Great Western trains between Oxford and Banbury will be suspended all day on December 27, and until 2pm on Saturday, December 28, with buses standing in. A reduced train service will be in operation on the Cotswold Line from December 27 until New Year’s Day.
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