This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Bridge between Osney Lane east and Osney Lane west, Oxford'.

Mike Magee 
Network Rail  
By email:  
Freedom of Information 
The Quadrant  
Elder Gate 
Milton Keynes  
MK9 1EN 
01908 782405 
E xxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx  
1 July 2020 
 Dear Mr Magee 
Information request 
Reference number: FOI2020/00653 
Thank you for your email of 7 June 2020, in which you requested the following 
‘’There is a footbridge between Osney Lane east and Osney Lane west that is 
currently in a state of some disrepair.  It is has been established that it is in dire 
need of repair for the safety of pedestrians. Photos available.  Can I ask: 
1.  Does Network Rail plan to repair the footbridge in the near future? 

2.  Does Network Rail plan to close the footbridge in the near future because of the 
dangers to pedestrians? 
3.  Is the footbridge a right of way, given that Osney Lane east and Osney Lane 
west are obviously connected? 
4.  If the bridge is not a right of way, can you tell me when this was established as 
a fact, given the railways were obviously built in the 19th centuries.’’ 
I have processed your request under the Environmental Information Regulations 
2004 (EIR) as the information requested is environmental according to the definition 
in regulation 2(c)1 of the EIR (which refers to measures and activities affecting or likely to 
affect elements of the environment). 
1 Please note section 39 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) exempts environmental 
information from the FOIA but requires us to consider it under the EIR. 
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited Registered Office: Network Rail, 2nd Floor, One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN Registered in England and Wales No. 2904587 

I can confirm that we hold the information you have requested. In the interest of clarity, I 
will answer each part of your request in turn below.  
1.  Does Network Rail plan to repair the footbridge in the near future? 
I have consulted with a colleagues within the structures team and I can confirm that a full  
detailed structural examination of this footbridge was undertaken in November 2019. The 
results of that examination highlighted that the timber bracing to the piers is in poor 
condition. This has prompted a work item to be raised, in order to produce a modern 
equivalent bracing mechanism, to reinstate the functionality. Our Structures Asset 
Management team continue to routinely monitor for any signs of movement.  
The surface and condition of the staircase treads were satisfactory. We do recognise that 
these can deteriorate but there are additional supports beneath. The deck to the 
footbridge has previously been replaced in 2009 and remains in good condition. The 
newer deck has substantially altered the fixity at the top of the piers from the original 
structure, which has significantly altered the requirements for the cross bracing in the pier 
2.  Does Network Rail plan to close the footbridge in the near future because of the 

dangers to pedestrians? 
Based on our examinations and findings, I can confirm that, at present the footbridge is 
considered safe and shall remain open. 
In the longer term, it is recognised that this structure does have a significant interface 
with any future remodelling of the track layout, based on the proposed redevelopment of 
Oxford station. In regard to this, we continue to assess both the current need of the asset 
and how any works are appropriate for the future, given that a replacement structure may 
well be needed due to changes in span or height. 
3.  Is the footbridge a right of way, given that Osney Lane east and Osney Lane west 

are obviously connected? 
I can confirm that this particular footbridge is a Network Rail owned structure, it does not 
hold any public rights and so is not a public right of way.  
4.  If the bridge is not a right of way, can you tell me when this was established as a 

fact, given the railways were obviously built in the 19th centuries. 
The railway was constructed circa 1845 and Osney Lane was a public road which was 
authorised to be crossed on the level. However, under the Great Western Railway (Further 
Powers) Act 1866 the railway company was authorised to replace the road with a 
footbridge, significantly stating for the use of passengers - therefore suggesting that its 
use may now be protected from a public right of way claim by Section 57 of the British 
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited Registered Office: Network Rail, 2nd Floor, One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN Registered in England and Wales No. 2904587 

Transport Commission Act 1949, and to stop up public rights where the road crossed the 
railway. The footbridge may have been constructed circa 1885.  
I hope the information within this response is helpful. If you have any enquiries about this 
response, please contact me in the first instance at xxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx or on 01908 
782405.  Details of your appeal rights are below.  
Please remember to quote the reference number at the top of this letter in all future 
Yours sincerely  
Najea Begum 
Information Officer  
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to 
use it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research and 
for any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents 
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require the permission of the copyright holder. Please contact me if you wish to re-use the 
information and need to seek the permission of the copyright holder. 
Appeal rights 
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled and wish to make a 
complaint or request a review of our decision, please write to the Head of Freedom of 
Information at Network Rail, Freedom of Information, The Quadrant, Elder Gate, Milton 
Keynes, MK9 1EN, or by email at xxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx. Your request must be submitted 
within 40 working days of receipt of this letter.  
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directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner 
can be contacted at: 
Information Commissioner's Office 
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Cheshire SK9 5AF 
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited Registered Office: Network Rail, 2nd Floor, One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN Registered in England and Wales No. 2904587