Christ Church has been granted planning permission to build a bridge across the river Cherwell.
The construction will span the river running through Christ Church Meadow, and will be christened ‘Jubilee Bridge’ in honour of the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Speaking after the College announced its initial planning application for the bridge in January, Christ Church Treasurer James Lawrie explained that the bridge will act as a replacement for a stationary punt which fell into disrepair, and as such will hopefully “cut journey times between A and B”.
However, according to officials at Christ Church, only students from the College will actually be permitted to cross the bridge. All others will be held back by a gate blocking access to the sports grounds on the other side of the river.
Peter Thompson, chairman of Oxford Civic Society, has written to the College urging them to open the bridge to the public and to create a new footpath by the sports fields.
“The design of the bridge could be viewed as an enhancement of the location and re-establishes it as a crossing point,” he said. “One of the benefits of the bridge is the possibility of opening up this footpath.”
College treasurer James Lawrie responded, saying that Christ Church would “consider” Mr Thompson’s request.
One fourth-year student at Christ Church was critical of the plans: “I think it’s good that College has put through such a radical and interesting proposal for the crossing, but I do feel that it is a bit of a waste of money at the end of the day. Surely College could have invested in something else of greater benefit to the entire student body?
“The least they can do now is compromise slightly and give a little to the community so that it doesn’t only benefit those directly affiliated with the College.”
Construction of the bridge is scheduled for completion in April.