A bridge to nowhere until next February

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RESIDENTS in parts of Cramlington say they have been left stranded after a footbridge was closed.

People who use the footbridge over the East Coast rail line at Beaconhill have called for investigations to take place into the safety of the bridge after it was closed.

But Network Rail, which is responsible for the crossing, have told local councillors that strict procedures must be followed before any action can be taken to inspect the bridge before any repair or replacement work can begin.

Officials at both Northumberland Council Council and Cramlington Town Council have called for action be taken on the crossing, with both authorities making representations to the company.

The bridge has already been closed for several weeks, forcing residents to take a one-mile detour.

However, Network Rail proceedures mean it will be February next year before a full safety inspection can be carried out.

A public meeting, attended by local residents and councillors, was recently held to discuss the situation, which officials from Network Rail attended.

But those in attendance were left disappointed after being told: “We can’t change processes for your organisation as it is unfair to other organisations.”

A spokesman for Cramlington Town Council said: “Local councillors have expressed major concerns over the insensitivity shown by Network Rail over the closure of the footbridge and their failure to accept the difficulties it is causing local residents who are now faced with a mile detour to get to Cramlington.”

The council is now considering taking the matter to MP Ronnie Campbell.