Disruptive work on Badminton rail bridge held up after nest found
9:00am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Latest News
Road closures resulting from the rail bridge demolition work on the B4040 near Malmesbury could be extended by as much as two months after bats were found nesting in an underbridge.
Villagers in Luckington and Sherston have expressed their frustration after Network Rail announced its work to Badminton underbridge has been delayed beyond its December deadline.
Mavis Choong, a spokesman for the rail firm, apologised for the disruption and said the work was necessary to support the firm’s electrification programme to enable new electric trains to operate through Wiltshire in the future.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the bridge work is currently delayed owing to bats being found during one of the series of ecological surveys done on the bridge.
“We have now applied for a licence to work round the bats in order to protect them while work is being carried out.”
The bridge is expected to be demolished on November 2 and 3, with rebuilding starting between November 9 and December 9.
Luckington and Alderton parish councillor John Buckley has been told by the rail firm that work may not be done until February 2014.
As such, he is keen to assert that the Old Royal Ship pub and post office are still open for business and are feeling the effects of losing their passing trade.
“It’s an absolute pain,” he said.
“People are very concerned about all the traffic and big vehicles on the small roads, and also it’s very inconvenient for farmers and small businesses over the Christmas period.
“One would have thought Network Rail would have done their surveys already.”
Coun. Buckley’s sentiments were shared by others affected by the road closures.
Paul Mather at Sherston post office said: “It’s one of those things you can’t do anything about but it’s just frustrating.
“You would think, in the planning stages, they would have found out about the bats then.
“The road is potentially going to be closed over the Christmas period when we rely on seasonal sales to follow through.
“When you ask them (Network Rail) about what they can do for us they just say it is a national project and they can’t give out compensation.
“When we heard about the work we said ‘yeah, fine, let’s grin and bear it’, so it’s just so frustrating that it gets held up by something like this.”
The B4040 between Luckington and Acton Turville is open to traffic under temporary traffic lights until October 19 when it will close completely to enable construction works to take place.
The Fosse Way is also closed from its junction with Pig Lane in a south westerly direction to its junction with Alderton Road until December 23.
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