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New footbridge over railway considered ugly by locals


New era for rail sending bad signal to some villages in Bedfordshire

By BedsOnSunday  |  Posted: November 16, 2014


A NEW footbridge over a railway line has been branded as 'ugly' and led to fears of what other bridges currently being redeveloped in the county might look like when complete.

By 2019 Network Rail needs to raise a number of low bridges in Bedfordshire as part of a £1.5bn project to electrify the Midland mainline.

Last Friday Souldrop bridge reopened to the public following a nine-month closure and now the company is in the process of raising the one at Templars Way in Sharnbrook which will take six months to complete.

It is currently expected to be finished by April 24, 2015.




As a result of the three-month delay at Souldrop, which Network Rail has chalked up to 'unforeseen issues' with the bridge design, residents fear there is more traffic chaos to come on the roads during the winter months. Issues have also been raised about the appearance of the new bridge at Cob Hall (pictured) which has been dubbed by locals as an 'ugly steel canyon'.

One Sharnbrook resident told BoS: "When Templars Way is closed there won't be a suitable diversion route for large vehicles, and there will be difficulties given the narrow roads, sharp bends and winter weather conditions."

A spokeswoman for Bedford Borough Council's highways department which handles the diversions, said the council does not control the work which Network Rail carries out, but it has encouraged them to consult with local parish councils and 'pressed upon them the need to minimise the continued disruption caused to local people'.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Our work to replace Souldrop and Templars Way bridges is part of an essential project to upgrade the railway line between Bedford and Sheffield.

"The work to replace Souldrop bridge took longer than anticipated because of unforeseen issues with the bridge design. The bridge was not a standard Network Rail design, but was instead a bespoke construction, which needed extra work.

"We will do all we can to minimise disruption throughout this period."

Read more: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/New-era-rail-isn-8217-t-loved/story-24534237-detail/story.html#ixzz3JJf8Ygmk

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