Options being explored to replace demolished Linslade railway bridge

Photo: Tim Casterton
Photo: Tim Casterton

Network Rail is exploring options for a new bridge following the demolition of the old railway bridge in Linslade earlier this month.

The right-of-way footpath at the site off Southcott Road is longstanding and pre-dates the founding of the railway line in 1837.

photo: Richard Page

photo: Richard Page

The bridge was demolished on May 5 after it had become unsafe.

Since its closure last year, the public has been asked to divert to use the station footbridge.

In a letter to MP Andrew Selous on April 19, Network Rail stated that the bridge had reached the end of its design life and that it would be demolished as safety was a concern.

The letter added that the design of a replacement bridge was being looked into and would need to comply with modern safety standards.

photo: Richard Page

photo: Richard Page

John Sharp, transport officer at the Leighton Buzzard Society, said this suggested that the new bridge would be caged as it spanned the 25kV electrified overhead wires.

The letter from Network Rail also stated that a compulsory purchase of land may also be required for the project.

Speaking on behalf of the Leighton Buzzard Society, Mr Sharp said: “We welcome this commitment by Network Rail to replace the demolished footbridge with a modern equivalent.

“This is what we have advocated ever since we learnt of the plan to temporarily close the bridge almost a year ago.”

photo: Richard Page

photo: Richard Page

Resident Tim Casterton, who witnessed the demolition, said: “A crowd of about 30 people watched the removal. Following removal the span was loaded onto a lorry to be taken away.

“Although the bridge was a part of the town history, it had become life expired having decayed so badly that it was unsafe to let pedestrians use it.”