Tuesday 18 Oct 2016
Residents reminded of Royal Wootton Bassett bridge closures for essential railway upgrade work
Residents in Royal Wootton Bassett are reminded of temporary road diversions from Monday, 24 October while Network Rail carry out work in preparation for the arrival of a new fleet of bigger, faster and greener electric trains.
- The Marlborough Road/Broad Town bridge will reopen on Friday, 21 October
- The bridges on the A3102 Bath Road will be temporarily closed from Monday, 24 October
- During the closure, traffic will follow a signed diversion route using: the temporary link road, Station Road, Nore Marsh Road and Bincknoll Lane to rejoin the A3102
- The temporary road, which runs parallel to the railway, connects the A3102 with Marlborough Road/Station Road
To save motorists a 30-mile detour, Network Rail constructed a temporary road which has been in use since March 2016, when work on the Marlborough Road/Broad Town bridge began.
As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger and better railway, Network Rail will be demolishing and reconstructing the central section of the A3102 Bath Road bridge, as well as raising its sides, known as the parapets, and those of the adjacent listed Hunts Mill bridge.
The bridge reconstruction will create the additional space needed for the overhead lines that will power a new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains. The parapets of the bridges need to be raised to provide a safe distance between those using the bridge and the high-voltage electricity cables.
The track beneath Hunts Mill will later be lowered to create the required space, while protecting the bridge’s historic architecture.
In order to safely carry out the work, the A3102 bridges will be closed to traffic and pedestrians from 24 October 2016 until early spring 2017.
Network Rail has worked closely with Wiltshire Council to ensure the bridges will be closed for the shortest time possible, minimising disruption to residents and businesses.
Andy Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England, said: “The improvements we are carrying out in Royal Wootton Bassett as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan are extensive but essential in order to bring our railway into the 21st century and improve passengers' experience.
“I’d like to thank residents and motorists in advance for their patience and understanding while we complete these essential improvements, which will pave the way for electrification and the benefits this will bring. These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more leg room, as well as less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway.”
Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for highways at Wiltshire Council, said: “We have worked hard with Network Rail to ensure the work is finished as quickly as possible to minimise the disruption to local people and businesses.
“This includes the diversion route which is using the temporary road to avoid traffic travelling an extra 30 miles.”
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.