GAINSBOROUGH’S Lea Road train station may be in for a revamp as plans emerge for a new railway bridge.
The old railway bridge is to be replaced by Network Rail and a new bridge deck will be built alongside the railway from Monday 20th June – causing at least eight weeks of disruption to one of Gainsborough’s busiest roads.
This has added to speculation that the train station is due a more intense revamp, as residents have often complained that the site has fallen into severe disrepair, and West Lindsey District Council have promised to look into improvements as part of the Gainsborough Growth Point plan.
Network Rail have said that in August, the old bridge will be taken out and the new one lifted into place over the course of a single weekend.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “This is a complicated piece of work because the site is very tight.
“Every effort has been made to minimise the disruption caused, with the main works deliberately planned during the school holidays. Trains will be affected while the bridge is being demolished and replaced – for approximately 54 hours during the August weekend.”
He added: “In the end we will have a smart new bridge which will last for a further 120 years.”
The rail company say that the old and new structure will be moved using tyre mounted heavy lifting platforms between 5th and 9th August this summer.
During this time Lea Road will be closed but Network Rail say they will allow access whenever it is safe to do so and that single lane traffic lights will be in place for four weeks either side of the bridge replacement for enabling and finishing works.
Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee at West Lindsey District Council Coun Malcolm Parish welcomed the news.
He said: “The council is keen to see improvements to Lea Road Station as Gainsborough’s rail gateway.”
The Gainsborough Transport Strategy is part of the Growth Point Plan and approved by Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive in January and by West Lindsey’s Executive in March.
The strategy identified a number of immediate improvements to the transport network, including bus real time information, improvements to Lea Road Railway Station, extension to the network of cycleways and some minor improvements to a number of junctions in the town.
Chris Anderson is from Lincoln but uses the Lea Road station regularly to visit his girlfriend who lives nearby.
“It’s just not well cared for,” he said. “It automatically gives the impression to travellers that Gainsborough is a small and unimportant town, and just a little bit more maintenance and cleaning is all it would take to improve that.”