PLANS to close one of Blackrod’s main roads for more than four months because of major work to electrify train lines have been postponed.

Network Rail had planned to begin work in May on the rebuilding of a bridge.

It would have meant the closure of Blackrod’s Station Road until August.

The bridge, along with many others in the region, needs to be raised in height to provide sufficient clearance for the overhead lines that will be installed on the newly electrified track.

But those plans have now been shelved until early in 2015 after the company heard concerns from councillors about the width of the bridge in question and the trouble it has caused for road users.

Network Rail is now working to a different design that will remove a footbridge next to the bridge and allow the carriageway to be widened.

Horwich and Blackrod ward councillor Stephen Pickup said: “When I first heard that the Station Road bridge was to be replaced, I requested the new bridge be wider to enable traffic to flow more easily.

“The current situation makes it difficult, if not impossible, for large vehicles, such as lorries and buses, to pass safely — Bolton Council and Network Rail are working towards a solution which will enable the replacement bridge to be of wider construction.”

The footbridge will be reconstructed in July this year and will become the route for pedestrians to cross the railway — it will maintain pedestrian access during the road bridge works in 2015.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “There are limited times when work of this nature can be carried out and the decision has been taken to complete the upgrade in 2015.

“We have worked closely with the local authority throughout the process and the new bridge will be wider than the current to help ease the flow of traffic in the area.

“Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout and everything will be done to complete the project as quickly as possible.”