BRIDGE WATCH DAY 9: Is reaction to Corby closure a fuss over nothing?

Road Closure: Corby: Cottingham Road rail bridge closed''Saturday, 29th September 2018 NNL-180929-185737009
Road Closure: Corby: Cottingham Road rail bridge closed''Saturday, 29th September 2018 NNL-180929-185737009

The delayed opening of Corby’s Cottingham Road bridge is not as bad as some say it is, according to one man.

The closure as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade, which began in January, was initially due to end on August 14 but that was then extended to September 10, and then September 29 with little notice.

And it was announced just days before the closure was due to end that it would now be extended to October 19.

Businesses say they are on the brink and one landlord said the closure had cost his pub £47,000.

But not everybody is seeing the closure as a negative.

One man, who did not want to be named, said: “I am tired of reading about how ‘everyone’ is suffering because of the closure. That’s just not true.

“Yes, people may need to drive five minutes out of their way taking their kids to school, but so what?

“It has been quoted [that] because of the closure, shops have closed and business is down.

“The village has always been a revolving door of companies coming and going.

“I drove past the chip shop and the queue of people were out the door.

“People will still come if the business is worth it.”

He added that the closure has actually had a positive effect on traffic levels and safety in the old village.

He said: “What about the positive side? Villagers have been campaigning for years to get the amount of traffic through the village cut, it’s a rat run for lazy drivers looking to save a few minutes of time rather than using Oakley Road.

“That junction has seen countless accidents and cars have crashed into the houses at the junction as well as people being ran over.

“I hope it never opens. The road is quiet, it’s a village once again not a main road, people are safe.

“So I ask is opening that bridge on time worth a few extra pounds in your pocket or the safety of others? I know what my choice would be.”

On October 1 the Northants Telegraph launched Bridge Watch, running a story a day until the scheduled opening date, to ensure that Network Rail stick to their word and re-open the bridge in order for the Old Village businesses to be sure their footfall increases in the vital run up to Christmas.

Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail, apologised for the delay in re-opening the bridge.

He said: “We are working closely with partners to ensure the work on the bridge is finished as quickly as possible and we’d like to thank residents for their patience whilst we complete this vital upgrade.”