Corby bridge woes set to continue

Railway Station: Corby: Railway bridge, Cottingham Road, 'Sunday, July 15th 2018 NNL-180715-204529009
Railway Station: Corby: Railway bridge, Cottingham Road, 'Sunday, July 15th 2018 NNL-180715-204529009

A Corby bridge closure that has left Old Village businesses struggling to survive has been extended again.

The Cottingham Road bridge closed to traffic in January before being rebuilt as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade.

It was originally due to re-open on August 14 before signs declared it would open on September 10.

Last month Network Rail extended the closure to September 29, citing technical difficulties.

But now the closure has been extended again and the road will not re-open until Friday, October 19.

Gaye Hood-Henry, who owns Much Loved in the Old Village’s High Street, said she was furious with the delay.

She said: “It’s just so unnecessary. All it requires is for the authorities to liaise with each other.

“If this was to happen in any other business heads would roll.”

Network Rail says further delays to ongoing work mean returning utility services to the bridge has been delayed, resulting in the need to maintain the road closure.

Pedestrian access will be maintained through a temporary footbridge with the bridge open to vehicles as soon as is possible.

Some remaining work will take place until late November without the need to close the road.

Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Firstly, we’d like to apologise for the delay in reopening this bridge.

“We understand that this work is having an impact on local businesses as well as motorists.

“We will be starting an immediate advertising campaign to support local businesses and ensure people know they are open and accessible, while the diversion is in place.

“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.”

Gaye said businesses affected by the closure had been overlooked.

She said: “Some of the businesses have been so badly affected that they are struggling to survive until the new year.

“My heart goes out to all of them.

“Our needs have been completely and utterly overlooked.”

She added that she was relieved the new opening date was before November 29, the date of Corby Old Village’s Christmas Fair, as it would have been “disastrous” if the bridge was still closed.