Village News - Railway bridge

November 2019

Appeal to demolish the bridge suspended until 2020. Trains now have new speed limit of 110 mph for both deisel and electric. Providing the new time table in December runs smoothly. It is likely to be adopted for future operation which will mean that the bridge is safe.


July 2019

Representatives from Network Rail attended the July Parish Council meeting and said that the remodeling would almost certainly mean that the bridge would not be demolished.


May 2019

Network Rail has suspended the appeal until September when the modeling on possible changes to the required bridge heights will be available.


April 2019

The appeal by Network Rail against the decision to refuse planning application to demolish the bridge has now been officially submitted. An enquiry will be held by written submission. Full details can be found here.

The application to demolish the railway Bridge at Steventon was refused by the Vale of White Horse DC on 2nd August 2018. Network Rail have now lodged an appeal November.

Listed Building Application with Vale of White Horse DC. This is to be discussed at the Planning Committee Meeting in the Beacon Centre Wantage on Wednesday 9th May 2018. The recommendation is to approve even though reports commissioned by the Vale and by Steventon Parish Council say there are alternatives to demolition.

Network Rail have applied to modify the parapets on Steventon bridge and have been given permission by Vale of White Horse DC

Railway electrificaton -

A decision on the future of the Railway bridge is currently with the Vale of White Horse Planning Department.  Resolution is unlikely before the end of January or February 2018.

Press Release Network Rail 12 September 2017 click here


Note that the consultation period has been further extended to 11th June 2017.  Please fill in the web comment on the Vale website and let them know your opinion.



A meeting of the Planning Committee of Steventon was held on Tuesday 23rd May in the Village Hall to discuss Network Rail’s application to the Vale of White Horse District Council for consent to demolish Steventon Railway Bridge and provision of a replacement bridge.

Full details of the submission can be accessed here P17/V1154/LB. The end of the consultation period has been extended to the 6th June 2017.

There was a good turnout of 71 people attending the Public Participation part of the meeting. The Planning Committee stated that the following questions need to be answered:


A letter dated 25th October 2016 was sent to Network Rail requesting information:
.........“In arriving at proposed options a due process has to be followed. Can Network Rail please confirm that they have followed a recognised process to arrive at their proposed options? For example, has Network Rail used the Department for Transport “Transport Analysis Guidance: The Transport Appraisal Process”.
To date there has been no reply, despite many reminders.


This led to lively discussion during Question and Answers. Some excellent suggestions were made by residents and business’ within and surrounding Steventon. There was unanimous agreement that the submission by Network Rail should be objected to.

The Planning Committee meeting that took place after Public consultation decided unanimously to object to the Network Rail submission for consent to demolish Steventon Railway Bridge and provision of a replacement bridge on the following grounds:


If you do feel that either:


Then please either:




May 2017

An application to demolish Steventon bridge has been submitted to the Vale of White Horse.  Follow this link for full details P17/V1154/LB

There will be an open meeting in the village hall on Tuesday 23rd May starting at 7 p.m.  Agenda link Please attend and give your views.  This will close Steventon High Street for 10 months and impact everyone.


Press release from Steventon Parish Council click to read.

Network Rail Update

On the 2nd February 2017 Historic England Advisory Panel met to discuss the issues posed with electrification of the railway and the potential demolition of Steventon Railway Bridge.

The justification for demolition

If demolition is to be considered justified it has to be clear that this is the minimum
necessary amount of harm in the circumstances in order to achieve electrification of
the line. It is Historic England’s  understanding that retaining the bridge is possible whilst also keeping the Causeway crossing open. The necessary minimum height of 5.6m at the crossing can be achieved by adopting a non-standard wire gradient of 1 in 400. However, this would mean closing the Stocks Lane crossing, where the clearance would be around 5.1m, to vehicular traffic. Fitting the wires under the bridge can be addressed by slewing the track. As this would not lower the track Historic England assume that drainage conditions (which they are aware are problematic at this location) would remain unchanged and therefore there is no greater risk of flooding.


However, Historic England are not yet convinced that retaining both the crossings and the bridge is out of the question. Network Rail’s own engineering advice suggests that a clearance lower than 5.6m may be acceptable if an agreement on this can be reached with the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB). Historic England have stated that Network Rail need to demonstrate that they have explored this possibility with the RSSB and received a firm indication that it is not possible before they could advise that there is a clear and convincing justification for demolition.


Historic England have indicated their disappointment that Network Rail did not
undertake a robust enough technical investigation of this issues surrounding the bridge much earlier in the project, nor did they approach it in a more holistic way. The opportunity presented to close the crossings, which all are agreed is necessary in the long term, was not taken, the precise technical problems relating to the crossing were not properly understood until relatively late in the process and the issues surrounding the closure of Stocks Lane should have been investigated more thoroughly years ago.

Meanwhile we understand that Network Rail are to submit the Listed Building Consent application to demolish the Bridge, to the Vale Planning Officer early next month.
A period of 2-3 months for public consultation, will then begin.



Bridge news - October 2016

Following a meeting with Network Rail and Oxfordshire County Council we can now give an update of their current plans.


Network Rail has been pursuing two options:



Following the meeting Network Rail are now looking at a  potential third option of lowering the track. Lowering the track by 300mm at Stocks Lane would enable the barrier to remain open.


If track lowering is not considered viable then Network Rail will apply for closure of Stocks Lane Barrier. Closure of the barrier will be to the detriment of the conservation area south of the railway with catastrophic consequences to Mill Street and the Causeway. It will lead to:

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