Residents of Wantage and Vale of White Horse District Council are calling for Network Rail to install a temporary bridge on the A338, while electrification work is carried out.
The road is set to be closed for up to six months during 2014 as work to raise the Station Road bridge is carried out, leaving motorists facing an 18-mile detour.
But a spokesperson for Network Rail said that while a final decision is yet to be made, they are “unlikely” to build a temporary bridge at the site.
They said: “We will be writing and communicating with residents about the situation, and obviously we’ll look at what we can do to make that diversion easier. [A temporary bridge] is probably unlikely in terms of what we’ve got to do. We need to be able to construct the lines and rebuild that bridge.
“We recognise that this is an inconvenience to everyone that lives and works round there, and we will work with them to try and make the best of it. We welcome contact and will listen to their concerns, and see what we can do to make it better.”
Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the council, said: “Motorists and users of public transport in the Vale already experience significant delays to their journey on a regular basis.
“Unless a robust plan is put in place during the electrification work, including the installation of a temporary Bailey Bridge, we are going to have major problems which would significantly affect many people living and working across the district.”
Julie Mabberley, of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG), said: “We are pleased to say that, for once, we and the district council are of one accord.”
A statement on the WAGCG website added: “This road closure will have a very significant impact on the traffic in Wantage and Grove, and no decisions about any diversion route have been made. If they divert traffic via the A34 this may coincide with the start of the work on the A34 junction (at Chilton, scheduled for 12 months from July).
“We urge the county council and our MP to make Network Rail install a temporary bridge for the duration of the works to minimise the impact on the community.
“They will have to create a temporary bridge for the services in any case so some of the work will already be done.”