Safety fears at nursery as rail footbridge is unveiled

Childfirst manager Andrea Leonard, with Harry Saxton, four, and Sophie Walton, three, with the railway footbridge which has shadowed their outdoor play area. Picture : OX67047 Damian Halliwell

Childfirst manager Andrea Leonard, with Harry Saxton, four, and Sophie Walton, three, with the railway footbridge which has shadowed their outdoor play area. Picture : OX67047 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo

First published in News by

A NURSERY has said a “monster” footbridge is putting the children at risk.

Staff at the Childfirst nursery in Launton Road, Bicester, say they came into work on Tuesday to see the footbridge.

Manager Andrea Leonard said: “We just assumed it would be a normal footbridge.

“I came into work on Tuesday and it had arrived. It’s just unbelievable. It’s a monster. It must be at least 20ft high.”

As part of the rail improvements between Oxford and Bicester, the bridge was installed to permanently replace Tubbs Crossing, between Launton Road and housing estate Langford Village.

But Mrs Leonard said she’s now worried about the privacy of the children and that it could become a target for people throwing things from the bridge.

She said although the nursery, which has 120 children, was consulted about a footbridge, they were not made aware of the “size and scale” of the structure.

Previously she said the garden was secluded and about 50 children, aged three to five, were able to tend it and water the plants.

But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now.

“It’s so dangerous and I have got parents who are distraught. I’ve even had parents who have said they would potentially pull their children out.

“I cannot believe no-one has given any thought to the safety of our children. It towers over them, it’s absolutely enormous.

“This completely overlooks us. People can see through the windows from the bridge.”

A spokesman for the Bicester to Oxford Collaboration, which is made up of Chiltern Railways, Network Rail and East West Rail, said: “The Tubbs Lane bridge has been constructed to provide a safer alternative to an old level crossing on the Oxford to Bicester rail line, the bridge is ramped so that it is fully accessible to all members of the community.

“We have visited Mrs Leonard and discussed her concerns regarding the footbridge. We will continue to work to find a solution to alleviate her concerns.”

Work on the new rail link from Oxford to London Marylebone, via Bicester Town Station, started in February.

The first section from Oxford Parkway to London is due to open next summer. The entire link is due to open the following year. Work will then continue to re-open the East West rail link from Reading, via Oxford and Bicester Town Station to Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire.

Comments (16)

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8:25am Thu 8 May 14

EMBOX2 says...

I'm afraid this is the DDA in action - a spaghetti-like maze of metal to satisfy the very few disabled users. Surely a RADAR key-operated hydraulic lift would have been better?
I'm afraid this is the DDA in action - a spaghetti-like maze of metal to satisfy the very few disabled users. Surely a RADAR key-operated hydraulic lift would have been better? EMBOX2
  • Score: 5

9:31am Thu 8 May 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now"
What do they want, a 10 foot fence all around??? What do they expect people to do when they 'watch' ?? Why can they not use the garden, can people now get in when they could not before??? Utter garbage.
But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now" What do they want, a 10 foot fence all around??? What do they expect people to do when they 'watch' ?? Why can they not use the garden, can people now get in when they could not before??? Utter garbage. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: -1

9:44am Thu 8 May 14

snert says...

HomerSimpsonDoh wrote:
But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now"
What do they want, a 10 foot fence all around??? What do they expect people to do when they 'watch' ?? Why can they not use the garden, can people now get in when they could not before??? Utter garbage.
Erm, yes, people can get in a lot easier now than before. The council may as well have put in an unlocked gate into the back now. At night it will be very easy to enter the nursery and it will become a dustbin for the Friday/Satruday night revellers who will have gotten bored of their kebab/burger on their way home.

And yes, it needs guard fencing put on it. However you can't completely cover it in because it will be a prime spot for any homeless people and drug users. Look at anywhere out of sight at night and trust me, it'll end up being a no go area.
[quote][p][bold]HomerSimpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: But she said: “Parents are concerned that people can stand on the bridge and watch, and there’s a risk of people throwing things at us. We can’t use the garden now" What do they want, a 10 foot fence all around??? What do they expect people to do when they 'watch' ?? Why can they not use the garden, can people now get in when they could not before??? Utter garbage.[/p][/quote]Erm, yes, people can get in a lot easier now than before. The council may as well have put in an unlocked gate into the back now. At night it will be very easy to enter the nursery and it will become a dustbin for the Friday/Satruday night revellers who will have gotten bored of their kebab/burger on their way home. And yes, it needs guard fencing put on it. However you can't completely cover it in because it will be a prime spot for any homeless people and drug users. Look at anywhere out of sight at night and trust me, it'll end up being a no go area. snert
  • Score: 3

10:05am Thu 8 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Different week, same issue, opposite problem...

In Oxford, the Equality and Human Rights Commission along with the East Oxford MP are demanding that bridges identical to this one are installed at Hinksey.

Perhaps it would be helpful if the E&HR Commission would clarify whose rights are more important in this case?

Those of a commercial business or those of the people who will use the bridge responsibly...
Different week, same issue, opposite problem... In Oxford, the Equality and Human Rights Commission along with the East Oxford MP are demanding that bridges identical to this one are installed at Hinksey. Perhaps it would be helpful if the E&HR Commission would clarify whose rights are more important in this case? Those of a commercial business or those of the people who will use the bridge responsibly... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 8

10:27am Thu 8 May 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
I'm afraid this is the DDA in action - a spaghetti-like maze of metal to satisfy the very few disabled users. Surely a RADAR key-operated hydraulic lift would have been better?
That's the first thing I thought - why not just have a glass lift? If its good enough for Hillingdon station then why not here - too much Hand wringing to cater for all going on here has resulted in that monster not Network Rails fault at all.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: I'm afraid this is the DDA in action - a spaghetti-like maze of metal to satisfy the very few disabled users. Surely a RADAR key-operated hydraulic lift would have been better?[/p][/quote]That's the first thing I thought - why not just have a glass lift? If its good enough for Hillingdon station then why not here - too much Hand wringing to cater for all going on here has resulted in that monster not Network Rails fault at all. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 3

11:08am Thu 8 May 14

tired99 says...

Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical.
Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical. tired99
  • Score: 2

12:28pm Thu 8 May 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

tired99 wrote:
Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical.
Tunnel then?
[quote][p][bold]tired99[/bold] wrote: Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical.[/p][/quote]Tunnel then? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -1

1:44pm Thu 8 May 14

tired99 says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
tired99 wrote:
Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical.
Tunnel then?
yabbadabbadoo256 have you ever been to this crossing? There is no space for a tunnel unless you think that it's ok to dig up half Garth Park including the town's only skate park.
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tired99[/bold] wrote: Agreed that this doesn't look very nice but this is the main route taken by children from the new Langford estate to their catchment area school on Longfields so it does need to be buggy friendly and have ramps. A lift at an unmanned crossing would not be practical.[/p][/quote]Tunnel then?[/p][/quote]yabbadabbadoo256 have you ever been to this crossing? There is no space for a tunnel unless you think that it's ok to dig up half Garth Park including the town's only skate park. tired99
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Thu 8 May 14

mytaxes says...

I guess the only thing you can do is close the nursery otherwise people will catch a glimpse of children at play. What a sad world this is.
I guess the only thing you can do is close the nursery otherwise people will catch a glimpse of children at play. What a sad world this is. mytaxes
  • Score: 7

6:31pm Thu 8 May 14

middleton kidlington says...

Plans for this bridge would have been on display before it was built. So why didn't they raise concerns before planning permission was passed on it.
Plans for this bridge would have been on display before it was built. So why didn't they raise concerns before planning permission was passed on it. middleton kidlington
  • Score: 3

9:03pm Thu 8 May 14

rayroad says...

By the time you've walked up that ramp and down again you might just as well have walked to the London Road crossing...
By the time you've walked up that ramp and down again you might just as well have walked to the London Road crossing... rayroad
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Thu 8 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

rayroad wrote:
By the time you've walked up that ramp and down again you might just as well have walked to the London Road crossing...
That's why there are also stairs for the people who are able to manage them for a brisker route to the top.
[quote][p][bold]rayroad[/bold] wrote: By the time you've walked up that ramp and down again you might just as well have walked to the London Road crossing...[/p][/quote]That's why there are also stairs for the people who are able to manage them for a brisker route to the top. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

3:50pm Fri 9 May 14

gree0115 says...

We live behind it in Whimbrel Close, it really is hideous, looks like some sort of Russian cold war radar array, especially the section on the other side of the line (not pictured). I pity the people who live adjacent to it, totally ruined the view out of their back windows.
We live behind it in Whimbrel Close, it really is hideous, looks like some sort of Russian cold war radar array, especially the section on the other side of the line (not pictured). I pity the people who live adjacent to it, totally ruined the view out of their back windows. gree0115
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Fri 9 May 14

IanEast says...

This is the result of the complete failure to properly inform and consult those living and working nearby the works. All that HAS been done to this end is enough to lay the CLAIM it has been done. The fact that this thing was unexpected prove this.
This is the result of the complete failure to properly inform and consult those living and working nearby the works. All that HAS been done to this end is enough to lay the CLAIM it has been done. The fact that this thing was unexpected prove this. IanEast
  • Score: 1

1:18pm Mon 12 May 14

The New Private Eye says...

People object when things are planned to be built, people object when things are not built, people object when things are not wheelchair/buggy friendly, people object when things are wheelchair/buggy friendly, people are upset when people can look at their children, people are upset when their children do not pass the child model audition so that people can look at them. What a strange place Oxfordshire has become.
People object when things are planned to be built, people object when things are not built, people object when things are not wheelchair/buggy friendly, people object when things are wheelchair/buggy friendly, people are upset when people can look at their children, people are upset when their children do not pass the child model audition so that people can look at them. What a strange place Oxfordshire has become. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 3

10:46am Thu 15 May 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Can I just say, I think some individuals are being utterly pathetic.
Yes there's a possibility that people might see the children, just as they would if said children were anywhere else in the country (unless of course they're kept in windowless cellars when not at Nursery).
There's also a possibility that somebody might throw something into the garden, tell them to stop.....take a photo....report them to the police.......unless of course it's an IED, then running might be the best option.
People will be able to see in the windows........put up some net curtains, or blinds, or for a 100% guarantee that nobody would see the children, brick them up.

“It’s so dangerous and I have got parents who are distraught. I’ve even had parents who have said they would potentially pull their children out.
.........These parents should be taken outside and shot, for the sake of their children, because they're clearly not the full shilling.
Can I just say, I think some individuals are being utterly pathetic. Yes there's a possibility that people might see the children, just as they would if said children were anywhere else in the country (unless of course they're kept in windowless cellars when not at Nursery). There's also a possibility that somebody might throw something into the garden, tell them to stop.....take a photo....report them to the police.......unless of course it's an IED, then running might be the best option. People will be able to see in the windows........put up some net curtains, or blinds, or for a 100% guarantee that nobody would see the children, brick them up. “It’s so dangerous and I have got parents who are distraught. I’ve even had parents who have said they would potentially pull their children out. .........These parents should be taken outside and shot, for the sake of their children, because they're clearly not the full shilling. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -2

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