Petition over Wellingborough bridge closure gathers pace

Furious businesses said the closure is costing them customers. NNL-190214-211207005
Furious businesses said the closure is costing them customers. NNL-190214-211207005

A petition over the permanent closure of Wellingborough’s Irthlingborough Road bridge has attracted 2,000 signatures.

The bridge linking the town to the Leyland Trading Estate and on to Irthlingborough was demolished in October as part of Network Rail’s electrification programme.

Peter Bone (left) and Tom Pursglove have expressed concerns. NNL-170906-043625009

Peter Bone (left) and Tom Pursglove have expressed concerns. NNL-170906-043625009

They promised it would open again by April but last month, under pressure from furious businesses, said it would not open at all.

Instead, a new bridge will open by mid-2020 with the current 4.9 mile diversion in place until Route 4, the first major Stanton Cross road, opens in a few months.

Wellingborough bridge will NOT re-open, Network Rail confirms

Businesses on the trading estate, losing customers and money, set up an online petition with the aim of re-instating the vital access road.

The demolished bridge

The demolished bridge

To view the petition click here.

The petition said: “A decision has been made not to re-instate this bridge as a road bridge effectively cutting off the Leyland Trading Estate from the town centre.

“This has a massive impact on the local community and businesses.

READ MORE: Major Wellingborough development route to open soon

“Workers are being made redundant and companies may not survive. There is no passing trade.”

The closure will receive Government attention after the MPs for Corby and Wellingborough, Tom Pursglove and Peter Bone, wrote to the Secretary of State Chris Grayling over the ‘unacceptable closure’.

READ MORE: MPs wade into Wellingborough bridge row

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail demolished Irthlingborough Road bridge in late 2018. This was necessary as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade to allow the safe passage of high-voltage overhead line equipment as work continues to electrify the railway from Bedford to Kettering and Corby.

“We are aware of concerns that businesses and residents have raised. Network Rail is currently reviewing the programme and we would like to thank the community for their patience whilst this takes place.

“Once the review has completed, we will be able to provide a further update.”

READ MORE: Furious Wellingborough businesses demand answers over rail bridge