Delayed work on Westley Rail Bridge could ‘start in next few months’

Westley rail bridge, Bury St Edmunds
Westley rail bridge, Bury St Edmunds
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Council bosses say building work on a bridge, which has been delayed and caused traffic hold-ups for nearly two years, could start in the next few months.

The Westley Rail Bridge, on Newmarket Road, was made a single lane to traffic in December 2013 in preparation for work to fix ‘significant structural weaknesses’.

While preliminary work has been undertaken, a start date for construction was not finalised following ongoing negotiations between Suffolk County Council and Network Rail.

This week a council spokeswoman said they hope to start the work below the bridge in the next few months and then proceed with work to the edges of the bridge and at road level throughout spring/summer next year. She said: “However, our works are dependant on receiving the necessary approvals and possessions from Network Rail. As soon as our negotiations have been completed, we will be in a position to provide some more definitive information on the timing, duration and details of the strengthening works and the traffic management arrangements required during the construction period.”

It comes after concerns were raised about the delays and effect on traffic at a county council Our Place Forum, in Bury, on Tuesday.

After the meeting, County Cllr Terry Clements said: “It’s always been one of the main routes into Bury. You can’t use it at certain times of the day because it’s backed up right upto the roundabout which is dangerous.” He has asked for the issue to be discussed by the council’s rail policy group in December.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said they have met with the council’s contractor Kier in the last few weeks to enable survey work and to discuss arranging access to complete the work. She said: “We will continue to work with them to make this happen.”