Mayor’s disappointment that Bromham Road bridge re-opening is delayed until Summer 2020

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Bromham Road rail bridge

Mayor Dave Hodgson has expressed his disappointment that Bromham Road bridge will not reopen until the summer, following an announcement by Network Rail.

The announcement was made today, stating that the closure of Bromham Road will be in place until Summer 2020 to allow the final stage of work to upgrade the railway bridge to be completed.

This comes just a week after the Bedford Independent was assured by Network Rail that the coronavirus pandemic would not alter the scheduled Spring re-opening.

In a statement to the Bedford Independent, Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “It is disappointing that Network Rail will not be able to open the bridge as originally planned.

“Sadly Bedford Borough Council have had little say in these works which are causing ongoing inconvenience to residents in Bedford, who will not even be benefitting from the eventual upgrade on the line.”

A statement from Network Rail said, “There are fewer motorists on the roads in Bedford, as people continue to follow government advice and avoid non-essential travel, which means that the road closure can be extended without being particularly disruptive for the community.

Bromham Bridge replacement“The extended road closure will mean that progress can continue to be made on the bridge upgrade, whilst reducing the impact on residents in Bedford.

“The extension of the road closure also means that there is space to make sure workers are at least two metres apart, in line with Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

“Network Rail is taking all necessary precautions to keep workers safe. Additional measures have been taken such as staggering shift times and breaks, setting up a one-way system in welfare facilities to segregate workers and increasing cleaning regimes.”

Engineers from Network Rail carried out work to demolish Bromham Road bridge in November 2019 and reconstructed it at a raised height in December.

This was to provide a safe distance for the overhead line equipment to pass beneath it, enabling the line between Bedford, Kettering and Corby to be electrified as part of the £1.5billion Midland Main Line Upgrade.

Network Rail is working closely with Bedford Borough Council on the next phase of work to Bromham Road bridge, which involves removing the scaffold bridge on the site and resurfacing the roads and footpaths.

The current signposted diversionary route for motorists will continue to allow this work to take place safely. Access for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists is being maintained.

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said, “We would like to thank people in Bedford for their continued patience whilst this essential work to upgrade Bromham Road bridge is carried out.

“With fewer motorists on the road in Bedford, the road closure can remain in place until the Summer without being too disruptive for the community.

“Once the Midland Main Line Upgrade is complete, passengers will benefit from increased capacity and more reliable services.”


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