Petition over Wellingborough bridge closure gathers pace

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

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:56 pm
Furious businesses say the closure is costing them customers. NNL-190214-211207005
Furious businesses say the closure is costing them customers. NNL-190214-211207005

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.

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.

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

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 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.

The demolished bridge. NNL-190214-211231005

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

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“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’.

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.”