FOUR bridges in Barnt Green will have to be rebuilt if the proposed electrification of the main line railway running through the village goes ahead.
At a meeting held in December, Network Rail discussed diversions for bridge 109 at Linthurst Newtown, bridge 110 at Greens Occupation, bridge 111 at Rocky Lane and Hewell Lane, and bridge 111a, which is the footbridge at Barnt Green Station.
Closure of the Linthurst Newton over bridge, means a lengthy diversion for traffic because of height, width and weight restrictions on surrounding roads and traffic will have to use Saint Catherine’s Road, Linthurst Road, Fiery Hill Road and Hewell Lane. The new bridge is likely to one lane wide, and higher, which means there may need to be some way of ensuring on-coming traffic is more visible.
The Greens Occupation bridge provides access to farmland and a private residence only, but it does provide a public right of way, so a temporary bridge may be installed while the original bridge is rebuilt.
The Rocky Lane/Hewell Lane bridge, which is close to the centre of Barnt Green, would have to be closed for approximately six months from May/June 2015.
A spokesman for Barnt Green Parish Council, said: “The appearance of the bridge will be unaltered, but because the considerable overnight and weekend work will generate noise, light and dust issues, the parish council has recommended that, at key points during the work, Network Rail offer residents who are seriously inconvenienced temporary hotel accommodation.
“A public engagement campaign will also take place and a detailed programme of works will also be made available nearer the time.”
The diversion will lead traffic via Fiery Hill Road back to Hewell Road, and pedestrian access to the station will be maintained throughout the work.
Although a new footbridge will be constructed at Barnt Green Station, the old bridge will remain in place until the new bridge is operational, with the possibility of granting access to platform four for trains to Redditch, still being debated.
Barnt Green Parish Council has raised the issues of lifts being provided at the station, and the subject is due to be raised by Worcestershire County Council with the Department for Transport.
Electrification of the line would enable an increase to three trains per hour running between Redditch, Bromsgrove and Birmingham New Street, and work on the line is planned from 2014 to 2019 with the electrification work possibly being carried out during the early part of this period.