Drivers in Chorley face months of disruption

This Is Lancashire: RAIL WORKS: The bridge in Harpers Lane that is to be rebuilt. RAIL WORKS: The bridge in Harpers Lane that is to be rebuilt.

Motorists, businesses and residents face almost six months’ disruption when two main roads close for work to electrify a railway line.

Harpers Lane, Chorley, will close to traffic in both directions from May 5 until October 24 as the bridge is completely rebuilt to provide clearance for overhead railway line equipment.

Railway Road, the main link road though Adlington, will close from June 9 to November 7 while similar work is done to the bridge at the station.

It will mean a diversion by road of more than a mile to get from one side of the railway to the other by car.

At each location a temporary footbridge for pedestrians will be put up.

Businesses in Harpers Lane said they feared ‘major disruption’ and loss of trade during the works.

John Cartwright, from J-Seas fish and chip shop, just yards from the bridge, said: “It will create the biggest cul-de-sac in Lancashire for more than five months.

“I appreciate the need for the electrification project but I’ve a lot of concerns about how it will affect the business.

“I will be seeking assurance that contractors’ vehicles will not take up the already scarce parking spaces and I hope people will be able to park at the Aldi car park and walk over the bridge.

“I think the authorities should show a little imagination such as letting people park on double yellows near the shops during the project.”

Carina Lockie, who runs Coco’s nails, tanning and beauty salon, said: “The road will be closed all through the summer, a time when I’m at my busiest with people preparing for holidays, weddings and other events. It will be much harder for people to get here.”

Wyn Aspinall, who runs Paradise Pets, said: “I only took over the business in July last year and the road closing will be a blow for us.

“I rely on passing trade and obviously that will be lost.”

There are similar concerns in Adlington, another question being the effect on the village’s carnival on July 11, 12 and 13.

Carnival chairman Alan Birtwistle said: “With the road closed the parade will be unable to take its traditional route.

“We will be in discussion with the authorities and committee members as to how to proceed.

“It may be that the procession will have to go via Rawlinson Lane but that will mean it is a much longer route than normal.”

A drop-in session, hosted by Network Rail, was due to take place for the Chorley at St Joseph’s Parish Centre yesterday.

This afternoon, (Wednesday) a drop-in session will be held at Adlington Community Centre, from 4pm to 8pm.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Both bridges will be completely rebuilt to accommodate an electrified railway underneath which will provide passengers with more reliable services and, in many cases, quicker journey times.

“There are also benefits for nearby residents as electric trains are quieter, cleaner and greener than their diesel counterparts. “The drop-in sessions are an opportunity for local people to find out more about the work and ask any questions they have.

“Pedestrian access will be maintained at both locations during the work and diversions will be clearly signed for motorists.

“We apologise for the disruption this essential work will cause and residents or businesses with any questions should contact the Network Rail national helpline on 08457 114 141.”

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