Community leaders in the Braes say residents and commuters will face months of travel “chaos” when a road is closed for a bridge upgrade.
Network Rail is planning to raise the bridge in Redding Road at the Tesco store to electrify the line which will mean a closure for more than six months.
A diversion is planned from the bridge all the way to the Bowhouse roundabout at Maddiston and then through Polmont, but community councillors from Reddingmuirhead and Brightons want Falkirk Council to consider an alternative route, possibly by building a temporary bridge somewhere along the line.
Chairman of Reddingmuirhead Community Council Danny Callaghan said: “This road closure will cause absolute chaos for local residents. I don’t think the council has considered the full impact it will have people. I don’t see why there can’t be a single lane across the bridge or even a temporary bridge instead of the long diversion.
“The closure will isolate us for the best part of six months and what will happen to the buses? It will affect thousands of people every day.”
Tom Grieve, chairman of Brightons Community Council, said residents there had concerns over an increase in traffic through Main Street.
Network Rail say the closure is necessary for an upgrade to the line. It will mean faster journey times to Edinburgh and Glasgow for people in the area and be more environmentally friendly.
Work will begin in January with a partial road closure in February followed by a total closure from March until September. The company is also planning to close the pedestrian footbridge, road bridge and station footbridge in Larbert’s Main Street at the same time as Redidng with diverted traffic using Bellsdyke Road instead.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Once the main Glasgow-Edinburgh line is electrified, Falkirk will benefit from faster journey times to both cities with a more reliable, resilient train service on quicker, quieter, greener trains.”
A council spokesman said that, while the current bridge is owned by Falkirk Council and requires significant work, Network Rail has agreed to pay around 40 per cent of the cost – £1 million.
He added: “The diversion is mainly intended for heavy vehicles and we would expect local users to use shorter routes in and around the area.”