Polmont bridge closure causing panic for businesses

Workers put the finishing touches to the rail bridge at Reddingmuirhead before it opens again. Picture: Michael Gillen (141769K)
Workers put the finishing touches to the rail bridge at Reddingmuirhead before it opens again. Picture: Michael Gillen (141769K)
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Businesses are worried they may not survive when another bridge over a railway line shuts just months after a six-month closure hit firms hard.

The Redding Road bridge in Reddingmuirhead will re-open today (Thursday) after being closed since March, but the nearby bridge in Polmont’s Station Road is due to close in January causing panic in the local business community.

Drivers and commuters are being told to expect major disruption when the road closes for five days from midnight tomorrow for exploratory works.

Catriona Exeter, who owns the Braes Larder and Braes Kitchen in Main Street, Brightons, said she doesn’t know if her businesses will survive another closure, while others have also expressed serious concern.

She said: “The closure starting this week will give me a tester of what to expect in January.

“The problem will be footfall as there will be a five-mile diversion in place that will affect people parking at the station.

“I had to close one of my shops for three months because of the Redding Road bridge. I don’t think I can survive another closure so soon after this one so I don’t know what the future of the business will be. It will be a case of fingers crossed.”

The exploratory works will also affect the bus services 1, 13, 13A and 40 in the Braes area until Wednesday.

Network Rail say the £3 million reconstruction in Redding Road will benefit Falkirk with faster train journeys and a more reliable service.

David Dickson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Scotland, said: “We appreciate that there has been some disruption for the community during this time and we thank them for their understanding and patience as we delivered these important improvements to both the road and railway.

“Faced with the constraints of the Victorian rail infrastructure currently in place on some routes, the work that we have to do to deliver clearances for electrification is significant.

“It will also deliver a solid foundation for future electrification of other parts of Scotland’s railway.”