Leeds railway bridge reopens to traffic after three months following £2.3m upgrade

Progress: The bridge while work was ongoing. Picture: Network Rail.
Progress: The bridge while work was ongoing. Picture: Network Rail.

A railway bridge connecting parts of Leeds has reopened following a £2.3m improvement project.

Fall Lane Bridge, which crosses the Leeds-Sheffield rail line and joins East Ardsley and Thorpe village, was closed to traffic in October.

The work was planned to be finished by December 19 but was delayed

But contractors have now completed the upgrades and the bridge has reopened.

Councillor Jack Dunn said: "It is great news that the long wait for the bridge strengthening work is over and the bridge is now capable of taking heavy vehicles and buses.

"And whilst it has to be understood that the completion of the bridge will not please everyone living in the immediate area due to the subsequent increase in noise and volume of traffic, it will be a bonus to others who have had to make a detour."

Bin collection vehicles and buses to East Ardsley and Thorpe had to be diverted after the three-tonne weight restriction was put on the bridge in 2010 because of structural problems.

As part of the upgrade project by Leeds City Council and Network Rail, the bridge has now been strengthened, painted and waterproofed.

It should now be able to facilitate vehicles up to a weight of 7.5-tonnes.

Network Rail spokesperson said: “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we have completed a necessary set of improvements to Fall Lane bridge in East Ardsley.

"These improvements included work to strengthen, paint and waterproof the bridge.

“We have worked closely with Leeds City Council on the project which cost £2.35m and a weight restriction which was imposed in 2010 can now be lifted.

"This means that the bridge can now be used by buses and local goods delivery vehicles, which will benefit the people of East Ardsley.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank residents and users of the bridge for their patience whilst this vital upgrade was carried out and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Coun Dunn said he was now preparing to organise a public consultation about the future of bus services in the area.