Work on long-awaited lifeline for villages gets underway

Coun Lisa Mulherin.

Coun Lisa Mulherin.

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Long-awaited work to repair a railway bridge connecting two villages will get underway in Autumn.

Campaigners have fought for improvements to the Fall Lane bridge linking Thorpe and East Ardsley for more than five years.

A three-tonne weight restriction was temporarily put in place on the bridge after an inspection in 2010.

And the limit has meant bin collection vehicles and buses have been diverted and unable to use it.

Councillor Jack Dunn, for Ardsley and Robin Hood, said repairs to the bridge would “open up the village”.

He said: “The fire service has been restricted, developers in the area have been restricted for deliveries with heavy goods vehicles. It has been a poor carry on.”

Fellow ward councillor Karen Renshaw added: “Getting the bus service back to its usual route will be a really big improvement for local people.

“The current arrangements are unsatisfactory in the long run as it leads to significant disruption to residents.”

Leeds City Council and Network Rail jointly agreed to fund repairs to the bridge, which crosses over the Leeds to Doncaster mainline, last year.

And Fall Lane will be closed for two months between October 8 and December 19 while Network Rail carries out the strengthening work.

When completed, councillors said it will have a 40 tonne capacity.

Ardsley and Robin Hood councillor Lisa Mulherin said: “There is going to be some disruption in the short term, but I hope that everyone can bear with this after such a long battle to get the work done.

“The end result will be a stronger, safer bridge for all road and rail users.”

She thanked local residents, bus users, former Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls and councillor colleagues for helping to secure the repairs.