A338 Wantage Road closure request turned down

The road bridge on the A338 in Grove Network Rail applied for permission to close the bridge in February to carry out works over Easter

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A request by Network Rail to shut a commuter route from Wantage to Oxford has been turned down.

The rail company wanted to close the A338 from February for six months to rebuild a bridge in Grove.

However, Oxfordshire County Council said it had turned down the request in order to "push for a solution that will mitigate the disruption".

The council said the road closure would have potentially resulted in a 18-mile (29km) detour for some drivers.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: "It is clear that the implications of any closure need very careful consideration.

"There is clearly much work to be done before we are at the stage where we can agree to close any roads in this area."

The work forms part of Network Rail's £1bn rail electrification project.

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