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Network Rail apologise for lack of A371 bridge repair consultation

By Shepton Mallet Journal  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Essential works to Ansford Bridge on the A371 have been put back until January 2013

Essential works to Ansford Bridge on the A371 have been put back until January 2013

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Network Rail has apologised to the community for not liaising with them properly over the controversial railway bridge repairs at Ansford which will mean a 19 week closure of the A371.

And they have – as promised to residents and business representatives at last month's fiery public meeting – set up a special email account, ansfordoverbridge@networkrail.co.uk, where concerns and suggestions can be directed.

This email facility is open until Sunday, October 7.

The company also says is has written to more than 500 householders in and around Ansford, to give them details of the proposed road closure as vital repairs are carried out to the A371 Ansford overbridge near Castle Cary station.

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The work had been scheduled to start this month on September 9. But the angry public meeting on September 4 at the Brook House Inn forced railway bosses to delay the start and take into account the huge effect the closure of such a major route will have on businesses and people across a wide area.

Following the strong views at the meeting, Network Rail has put off the start date of the repair work until the New Year.

Robin Basu, Network Rail's community relations manager, Western, said this week: "We acknowledge that we did not liaise with the community in a timely or adequate manner and we apologise for this.

"We are proposing to carry out the works between January 7 and May 31. A full road closure will be in place for the first 19 weeks of this period.

"Our next steps will be to give an opportunity for people to share their concerns and also to provide suggestions on how the impact of the road closure can be minimised."

The company will collate all information received via the email system, and will hold two meetings in October, with representatives from the community present, to discuss the concerns raised and agree on an achievable plan of mitigation measures.

The meetings are scheduled to take place in October, but times and venues will be confirmed in due course.

Mr Basu said: "Following this, we will issue information to inform the wider community of specific project details and measures that we will undertake to reduce disruption during the works. We look forward to engaging with the communities of Ansford and Castle Cary."

Anyone with additional questions or concerns should visit www.networkrail.co.uk, use the new email facility, or call 08457 114141.

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