At a meeting dated 18 December 2013, Network Rail has identified four local bridges that will need to be rebuilt in order to accommodate the proposed electrification of the main line running through Barnt Green.
The bridges concerned are:
Bridge 109 – Linthurst Newtown over bridge
Reconstruction of this bridge will involve closure of the road. Owing to height, weight and width restrictions on other roads in the area the diversion is likely to be lengthy using Saint Catherine’s Road, Linthurst Road, Fiery Hill Road and Hewell Lane. The new bridge will be one lane wide and, because the bridge deck will be higher, the approach from Blackwell may need modification to ensure that on-coming traffic is sufficiently visible.
Bridge 110 – Greens Occupation Bridge (access from Blackwell Road to farmland and private residence)
Although not a public highway bridge, it does carry a public right of way that will need a temporary closure or diversion. The bridge provides access to farmland and a private residence. Network Rail may provide an alterative access bridge whilst the permanent access is rebuilt but no commitment has been made to this as yet.
Bridge 111 – Rocky Lane / Hewell Lane over bridge
This bridge, close to the centre of Barnt Green will be closed for approximately six months from May/June 2015. The road width and layout will remain the same after the works have been completed and existing abutments will be maintained. The appearance of the bridge will be unaltered.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 route will be by Fiery Hill Road and back to Hewell Road. Foot access to the railway station from Hewell Lane will be maintained throughout.
Bridge 111A – Barnt Green station footbridge
The new footbridge will be a Network Rail standard pedestrian bridge with solid sides measuring 1.8m to provide necessary protection. The existing footbridge will not be removed until the new bridge has been built.
The plans for the new bridge do not currently include stairs to platform 4 (for Redditch trains). The Parish Council has made representations to Network Rail indicating that this should be reviewed as passengers crossing the bridge ought not to have to exit the station and re-enter in order to access this platform.
The Parish Council have also indicated that if the bridge is to be replaced then lifts should also be provided in order to make the station fully accessible. The County Council has agreed to raise this issue with the Department of Transport.
The Parish Council will release further information as it becomes available.