Tuesday 14 Feb 2017
New lease of life for Cheriton Road Bridge in Folkestone
- South East
A railway bridge over Cheriton Road in Folkestone will be replaced with a modern alternative after a plan to re-furbish and strengthen the 160-year-old structure had to be changed.
Scaffolding surrounding the rail bridge is due to be removed this week after work over the past few months by Network Rail and its contractor revealed that plans to strengthen the bridge so that it meets modern standards were not going to be cost effective. A new bridge is the best available option and will safeguard the railway through central Folkestone for many decades to come.
Mark Huband, Network rail’s route asset manager for structures, said: “We realise that the scaffolding has been an inconvenience and understand why people might be disappointed that its removal has not resulted in a refurbished bridge.
“While our plan had been to strengthen the existing bridge to bring it up to modern standards, it has become clear that the best, most cost-effective solution is to replace the bridge with a new structure designed to meet the needs of today’s road and rail networks.”
Although the current condition of the bridge is not unsafe, a replacement will provide a long-lasting and far stronger structure. The cost to replace this bridge is estimated to be in the region of £1.5m with work planned to start between 2018 and 2020.
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About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.