Letter from East West Rail/Network Rail about proposed Closure of Bletchley Road/Newton Road about rail bridge works 15th February to 26th March
Note: Whaddon Road is due to re-open on 13th February.
East West Rail/Network Rail have today (27th January) posted a letter to all homes in Newton Longville with the letters expected to arrive from Thursday 28th.
In the letter the statement is made that:
"An assessment to segregate a pedestrian and cycle path during our works was carried out with our engineers and members of the Parish Council, unfortunately due to the restraints and our duty of care, the risk of harm to the public and our workforce was priority and critical in the decision to have a full footpath and road closure in place".
This is incorrect.
On 18 December there was a meeting at the bridge between representatives of EWR, their contractors and the Parish Council. We made it very clear that at the meeting that a safe pathway must be provided under the bridge during the closure to enable pedestrians, those on mobility scooters and cyclists to be able to get to the other side of the railway, at least for the majority of what is nearly a six week closure period. The reference to the Parish Council being involved in the subsequent assessment and decision is incorrect.
In addition to the above, representatives of the Parish Council also took part in an HS2/EWR Rail Working Group meeting organised by Buckinghamshire Council on 18 January. In that meeting we made a request for the bridge closure to be postponed due to the current COVID-19 situation as it seems unlikely that people will not want to board a shuttle bus as proposed. It was agreed by the EWR representatives on the call that this was a reasonable request, and that their senior management would review the scheduling and get back to us early this week. At the time of writing EWR have not yet responded on our request to postpone.
This situation is not acceptable and we are in touch with our Member of Parliament, Greg Smith. In the meantime, residents who wish to express their views on this may: