A two-kilometre stretch of railway embankment carrying a major commuter route will be stabilised to prevent the land from collapsing.
Members of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee yesterday, Thursday, approved a railway embankment scheme including earthwork, construction of an access route and ecological mitigation measures on land between Piddington and Blackthorn.
The plans were approved after councillors heard monitoring devices within the embankment showed substantial movements of up to 150mm at several locations along the embankment.
Bob Duxbury, development control team leader, said: “This stretch of embankment carries the Chiltern Line between Birmingham and London Marylebone. It is the main commuter and inter city link through Oxfordshire and accommodates high speed trains of up to 100mph.
“In the interests of passenger safety and the provision of sustainable public transport, the proposed embankment stabilisation scheme is necessary to ensure the existing embankment does not collapse.”
The works will be undertaken near Marsh Gibbon Road. In addition to the stabilisation works, a four metre-wide permanent access track will be built to either side of the railway to provide access for the construction of the embankment and future inspections and maintenance.
In granting approval for the proposal, councillors imposed numerous conditions on developer Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd including a requirement for the work to have started within three years of planning consent. Other conditions included measures to protect habitats of importance to biodiversity conservation from any loss or damage.