New demand for Geddington Road bridge repairs

Corby MP Andy Sawford and county councillor Julie Brookfield
Corby MP Andy Sawford and county councillor Julie Brookfield

The owner of a Corby garage says his takings have dropped by 30 per cent because of road restrictions in Geddington Road in the town.

Latif Bhika, who runs the Murco garage in Geddington Road, has joined Corby MP Andy Sawford and county councillor Julie Brookfield in calling for action to end the restrictions which came into effect more than three years ago.

He said: “This has had a huge impact on my business and I have waited and waited for repairs to be done.

“I contacted the county council just a couple of weeks ago about this, but they have never been very helpful.

“Some businesses in Geddington Road have even moved out because of the situation and my takings are 30 per cent down.”

In January 2011 a weight limit of three tonnes was imposed on vehicles going over the railway bridge in Geddington Road.

The move was made by Northamptonshire County Council after a structural survey by bridge owner Tata Steel raised concerns about its load-bearing capacity. Concrete chicanes were installed to prevent HGVs going over the bridge.

The county council is extending the road restrictions, to meet legal requirements, while it continues to negotiate with Tata Steel over who should pay for repairs to the bridge. The authority’s spokesman said: “Finding a resolution to repair Geddington Road bridge in Corby is in the interests of everyone.

“The county council is in discussions with Tata Steel to resolve the problem and we have explored a number of options including the possibility of a cost-sharing deal.

“Talks are progressing well and we are hoping that a joint funding agreement with Tata will be reached imminently.”

Mr Sawford said: “It is 1,180 days since the restrictions were put in place. This is inconvenient for local residents and businesses, adding time and cost to people’s journeys.

“People have been very patient but news that the county council has applied to extend the restrictions is very disappointing.”

Cllr Brookfield said: “It is simply unacceptable that this problem has not been addressed during this time.

“This road is important to the people of Corby and plenty of them have told me how the restrictions have affected their ability to travel to and from work.”