MP James Gray has met Network Rail bosses to discuss controversial road and bridge closures.

Dauntsey Lock railway bridge was shut on March 8 for five months of work and three narrow roads used as rat runs by drivers since then were shut last week because of safety fears.

But the closures of Bowd’s Lane, Trow Lane and the road from Grittleton to Tockenham Wick are said to be costing traders business while home owners say they have been ‘marooned’ by the move.

Mr Gray, who is MP for North Wiltshire, said: “I was pleased to host an extremely constructive meeting with Network Rail’s directors in my Westminster office to discuss their
£1 billion project to electrify the Great Western line.

“In particular, I wanted to raise the multiple road and bridge closures that have resulted from the works, which are causing difficulty and disruption for my constituents.

“Network Rail acknowledged many of the challenges including disruption to lives and businesses and the risk of isolating communities. 

"During the meeting, I was pleased that Network Rail offered Wiltshire Council a dedicated community liaison officer at the council’s offices in Trowbridge to improve communication between Network Rail, Wiltshire Council, parish and town councils and residents affected by the modernisation programme.

"It is so important that all local stakeholders work closely together to ensure that the disruption to local life is kept to an acceptable level.

"I was pleased that Coun Toby Sturgis was able to attend representing Wiltshire Council and that, following the meeting, arrangements were made for senior staff from Network Rail to attend the town council in Royal Wootton Bassett to bring them up to date on plans to close road bridges in the town and on other matters.”

“I remain supportive of the electrification project which will deliver more reliable and more comfortable journeys for passengers - as well as contributing to our green targets.

“At the same time, electrifying the Great Western line will result in decreased levels of noise for those living near the railway.

"That will not be achieved without some cost and disruption, which must be controlled. I will plan a series of similar meetings with Network Rail every three months or so to monitor the works.”