Town centre bridge on track

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Controversial works on Stratton Street Bridge are back on track and it is anticipated to open by the end of May 2016.

It was intended that the bridge, over the East Coast Mainline in Biggleswade, would be removed over the Christmas and Boxing Day period but unfortunately the effects of Storm Eva meant that these works had to be postponed.

Since then Central Beds Council says it has worked tirelessly with Network Rail and their contractor to find additional railway possessions to reduce the duration of the programme wherever possible.

A possession is a protected section of rail and a way of making sure that a line is safe to work on during engineering work, using signals, detonators or track circuits.

This will mean that demolition and rebuild will take part in shorter durations due to restrictions on the amount of time available within each possession of the railway track.

But, weather permitting, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Highways team anticipate the bridge reopening at the end of May.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services said: “The weather over Christmas gave us all a bit of a scare but we are confident that, weather permitting, we will get the works completed by the end of May.

“We understand residents concerns about the works and we will continue to work with residents and businesses to ease disruptions.

“As I have said before, please bear with us whilst we complete these works.”

The closure of the bridge in December has meant major detours through the town which traders say have hit footfall and increased traffic congestion.

Last week the Chronicle highlighted a YouTube video by James Cowburn parodying how Hitler would have coped with the issues in Biggleswade which has since been viewed more than 13,000 times.

Central Beds councillors responded to the video with their own YouTube offering setting out why the work ws happening and the length of time it was taking.

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