Wiltshire Publications

Oldfield Road railway crossing – a simple solution?

Dear Sir

I recently moved to Westbury and use Oldfield Road to get to Westbury’s White Horse Health Centre.  I can’t believe that Linden Homes’ 300-home Pinnacle Estate may be going ahead with such limited access.  Pedestrian access to the site on footpath West15 will be a distinctly dangerous crossing, especially for Pinnacle residents’ children going to Westbury Infants’ and Junior Schools and residents walking or wheelchairing to Leigh Park shops.

The twin-track railway line is a high-speed Westbury Station bypass for passenger and heavy freight trains.  From internet images, even while the path’s main use right now is for leisure, a red/green light operated by closeness of trains has had to be installed, recognising the current danger.  The old, manually-operated ‘kissing’ gate shown allows just one pedestrian at a time, this must be replaced and improved. The track-crossing itself is accessed up steps, a clear hazard for push-chairs and wheelchairs.  Groups of inattentive older children crossing have to be trusted to cope with being so close to Oldfield Road, a busy distribution road, on one side and the high-speed rail line on the other.

Alternatives to the crossing?  Linden’s new access road goes into Station Road and after negotiating a dangerously narrow pavement under the railway bridge and turning right into a footpath leading into Bridge Court … and so it goes on.  At the other end of the site, across the open land promised to be left undeveloped will be the road link from Mane Way, over the unbuilt railway bridge to the station…?

At least there should be a sloping-ramp bridge (no steps) for pedestrians, etc, etc … even bikes, to replace the current crossing.  Linden apparently are willing to put some money in, but until the planners agree about the obvious need for easier access than the roads, nothing’s likely to happen.  Network Rail will try taking their usual “not our problem” attitude, but Linden’s are pushing the estate for its convenience for rail travellers and Network Rail should be pleased to just put some more blackberry bushes in to fill the gap

Someone will complain that a bridge will destroy footpath West15’s attraction, but the previous try about the footpath being built over with a bit of pavement and road was dismissed by the planners.  

Seems like a simple problem to this newcomer.  

Jason Dickie,


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