Row over Wallingford swing bridge

Good to hear that the intervention of the Open Spaces Society has persuaded South Oxfordshire District Council to withdraw an order to divert the Thames Path at Wallingford. 

The row involves a swing bridge being installed on the line of the path at the marina to the south of the town which has been taken over by Oxford University Boat Club. 

OSS Oxfordshire representative Chris Hall says: “We have had assurances from club officials that the opening of the bridge would be very infrequent. But this is not good enough. The society is concerned about the long-term future of the path. What happens if the club’s premises change hands and a commercial marina takes over with more frequent use of the bridge?

“The society has suggested to the club that the order to divert the path onto the swing bridge should contain binding conditions that will remain in force under any future ownership of the land. These conditions would limit the times and lengths of opening the bridge (ie obstruction of the path) and guarantee an alternative route for walkers through the club’s premises. Unfortunately the club has not followed up this proposal.”

There has long been a launch dock here. Let’s hope talks between the parties and the council result in the path remaining by the water. These battles are important.

See page 144

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