Closure of the Gasworks Pipe Bridge

The Gasworks Pipe Bridge, which links the Isis towpath with Friars Wharf and St Ebbe’s in Oxford city centre is closed due to concerns over its safety.

The following document assesses the structural loading capacity of the Gasworks Pipe Bridge and provides recommendations based on the findings within this report.

Gasworks Pipe Bridge Assessment Report - February 2021

A principal inspection of the Gasworks Pipe Bridge jointly commissioned by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council recommended that a structural assessment of the bridge deck (truss) be conducted which included the parapets and transverse precast concrete planks, due to their observed condition.

The assessment concluded that the truss, including its connections, has inadequate capacity to carry crowd loading in line with the current CS454 standard. As a result it was decided that the Pipe Bridge should be closed for the safety of the public.

Additionally the planks are showing signs of significant deterioration and are unsafe and the ramps are not fit for purpose considering current accessibility standards. There are concerns that the termination of both ramps could result in an accident between cyclists and pedestrians. 

The report recommends that the bridge be demolished and replaced. Oxford City Council has now appointed a consultant to produce a detailed engineering and design-led options appraisal, which will inform a decision on whether the Pipe Bridge is replaced, or can actually be improved and retained. The completed options appraisal and likely costs should be available by October.

Latest news updates

See the latest Gasworks Pipe Bridge Bulletin updates

Community safety information

School Journey via the Gasworks Railway Bridge

  • Try to time your journey to make the most of the daylight. 
  • Plan your route beforehand if this is not a route you are familiar with.
  • Younger children should always walk with an adult 
  • Older children to walk with a friend/groups when possible. 
  • Stick to the well-used footpath.
  • Be visible – try to have some form of clothing, backpack or other item that is reflective as you walk.
  • If dark, use a torch to help light the way and other people can see you.
  • If walking next to the River, stay away from the edge and do not allow children to play next to the river edge
  • Be aware that the path is shared with cyclists
  • Older children walking to or retuning from school during hours of darkness should use Folly Bridge instead.

Personal safety at night

Stay on busy streets, in well-lit areas and avoid parks and the towpath, even if you are not alone. It is recommended that you use the Folly Bridge (Abingdon Road) instead of the Gas Works Rail Bridge to cross the River Thames late at night. This is a well-used, well observed and well-lit route.

  • Plan your route before you set off
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are meeting and what time you are expected to arrive at your destination
  • Keep your mobile phone charged so that you can communicate at all times.
  • Avoid listening to music using headphones as this can distract you and prevent you from hearing any potential danger signs 
  • Consider carrying a torch
  • Keep valuables hidden. Try not to keep all your valuables in one place.
  • Consider carrying a personal safety alarm
  • Be alert to your surroundings - concentrate on where you’re going and what’s happening around you