Action has been called for to repair the damaged Eccles Heath rail bridge, located between Snetterton and Attleborough in South West Norfolk. This was the message from local MPs Liz Truss, George Freeman and County Councillor Steve Askew. The bridge was damaged by a vehicle in 2017, closing the route with diversions taking place via Bryant’s Bridge. Network Rail announced last month that work to repair the bridge was unlikely to take place until 2022. Norfolk County Council has said that the diversion route in place is not suitable due to the STOP junction and poor visibility. Elizabeth has raised with Network Rail her frustration that repairs are not taking place leading to road users having to make alternate arrangements.
Elizabeth commented ‘It is not acceptable for a damaged bridge to be closed for over 5 years before any work takes place – but this is what Network Rail is proposing by stating repairs will commence in 2022. The county council has already said that the diversion route is not suitable and I therefore would question this ongoing closure. Local residents should be able to use the road network and I would call on Network Rail to review their decision.’
George Freeman MP said“It’s completely unacceptable for Network Rail to decide not to repair a bridge and require local road users to use a diversion for FIVE years, which the County Council as Highways Authority has said is unsafe. Network Rail seem to forget that they are a public sector agency with a statutory duty to maintain the rail network and serve, not obstruct, the public”
Norfolk County Councillor Steve Askew added “Network Rail don’t appear to appreciate the disruption this delay is causing. The diversion route is very hazardous due to a blind junction on Bryant’s Bridge which in turn is encountering numerous scrapes. This is a very busy road which services the Snetterton Heath Employment Area and access to the A11”