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Friday December 14 2018

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In Full . . .

Bridge work begins

Posted on September 30 2018 at 2:55:30

Temp road

Work towards the installation of a footbridge over the railway at Cofton Hackett has finally begun, Barnt Green Parish Council heard.

Chairman Robert Cholmondeley told councillors that Network Rail was constructing a temporary roadway (above) beside Bittell Farm Road in preparation for the footbridge, which will replace the “yellow brick road” foot crossing.

“It seems that for once Network Rail have kept their word, as they told us work would begin in September,” he said. “Apparently the bridge should be completed over the winter months.”

Network Rail closed the foot crossing in summer 2015 for safety reasons, in the face of opposition from residents and walkers, and decided to install a footbridge – estimated to cost £1 million – as a diversion would be too long. Since then, work has been postponed a number of times.

The bridge scheme has been met with raised eyebrows in Alvechurch, where councillors were told Network Rail did not have enough money to finish the station car park.

Alvechurch parish chairman Andy Humphries commented: “Interesting that Network Rail can find the cash for a footbridge for a handful of walkers but can’t manage to fund improving the car park at Alvechurch station, which would benefit hundreds of rail users.”

Meanwhile, Barnt Green Parish Council has written to West Midlands Trains, which now has responsibility for Barnt Green station, asking for improved signage.

“Platform 1, where passengers catch the new Bromsgrove service, does not have an information screen, so you have to cross over to another platform to find out the train times,” said clerk Gill Lungley.

Coun Joe Nilsson pointed out that since the bridge still has no lifts, people in wheelchairs or travelling with pushchairs would not be able to do this.

There is still no definite date from Network Rail on when the long-promised lifts might be installed.

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