Railway bridge will be opened after traffic chaos

Traffic congestion in Adlington when bridges were closed in January
Traffic congestion in Adlington when bridges were closed in January

Network Rail has made a U-turn after the closure of another railway bridge led to more traffic misery for drivers in Adlington.

Grimeford Lane, Blackrod, was shut last Monday so the bridge could be rebuilt as part of the project to electrify the railway.

It was the fourth bridge in the area to be closed, following Rawlinson Lane and Chorley Road in Heath Charnock and Station Road in Blackrod.

Residents and business owners have faced long delays, with many taking to the Guardian’s Facebook page and Twitter to complain about the bridges being closed at the same time.

But a spokesman said today that Grimeford Lane would be reopened and the work there postponed until later in the year.

They said: “Network Rail apologises for the inconvenience we have caused people in the Adlington area.

“Network Rail is investing more than £1 billion in the North West of England to provide passengers with a better railway. To electrify the line, the bridges have to be rebuilt to increase the clearance underneath to accommodate overhead lines to power the trains.

“We consulted extensively with local people affected by this work. We continue to work closely with Lancashire County Council to monitor the situation. We have already made some alterations to traffic light timings to improve traffic flow.

“Also, we have postponed the work on Grimeford Lane until later in the year, so we will be reopening this bridge in the near future.

“We appreciate there is never a good time to close roads and we will complete this work as quickly as we can.”

And Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, has reassured residents concerned about the impact of Chorley Grand Prix on April 4.

He said there will be “rolling road closures” on the route and traffic would only be stopped for a few minutes on each lap.

He added: “We understand that there are already lots of roadworks going on in the area, which we have raised as an issue with Network Rail and Lancashire County Council who are the responsible authorities, but we are confident that the Chorley Grand Prix will cause minimal additional disruption to the roads.

“We are asking people to be mindful that it is Easter weekend and they may want to consider planning ahead for their journey.

“The only roads that will be closed for the Chorley Grand Prix are Park Road in Chorley town centre, where the start and finish line will be, and the west-bound side of Sheep House Lane and Rivington Road.”