Storms blow a hole in plans for new bridge

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Vital work on the railway bridge through the centre of Biggleswade has been blown off course by high winds.

The High Street bridge over the railway was planned for removal during the Christmas holidays to avoid major disruption to the railway service.

But high winds from Storm Eva meant work had to be stopped.

The crane, used by contractors Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, can only operate in winds of speeds up to 22mph.

And with gusts being reported at over 30mph work had to be halted for safety reasons.

With the East Coast Main Line having to re-open to railway traffic on December 28, there was no time left to undertake the planned work.

A Central Beds Council spokesman said: “The exact impact of the delay on the bridge closure programme will be assessed as soon as Network Rail are able to provide information on when further possessions of the railway line can be granted.

“A meeting with Network Rail officials will be held as soon as possible to agree how the work can safely be progressed and when the bridge can be re-opened to traffic.

“We will supply further communication with this information early in the New Year.”

The bridge, a major route through the town, has been closed since December 13 to allow for its removal and replacement.

While preparation work had been carried out up to Christmas, the festive works were an important part of the projectwith the closure of the line.

It had been due to re-open in the spring of 2016, and there are currently major diversions around the area.