Network Rail given green light to replace Stirling’s Kerse Road Bridge

scotrail train stockStirling Council has approved Network Rail’s planning application to replace the Kerse Road Bridge as part of the electrification of the area’s rail network.

The application sought permission to replace the existing bridge in order to meet the clearance distances required for the electrification of the railway line, and to address a number of defects identified with the existing structure.

Approving the application this morning, members of the council’s planning and regulation panel recognised the long term economic benefits this would bring to the area but stressed that Stirling Council officers will be working with the applicant to ensure that the short term impacts are minimised as far as possible.

The panel were only considering the application to replace the bridge at this meeting, in line with planning policy and legislation, and did not approve the programme of works proposed by Network Rail, or the traffic mitigation measures and road closures required. These issues will be considered at a future date by the council’s environment and housing committee.

During the hearing, Network Rail outlined the reasons for the required bridge replacement in order for electrification of the line to occur across the central belt region; including the imperative to provide cleaner, faster and longer trains on the network.

It also outlined a much improved programme of work, which proposes a reduction in the full closure of Kerse Road Bridge from 12 months to 6 months.

If this programme of work is agreed, this will avoid both the 2017 and 2018 Christmas trading periods.

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