MOTORISTS will face delays and road closures as work to electrify Bolton’s train lines begins.
Network Rail is investing £400 million in an electrification programme in the north of England that says it will provide a more efficient and reliable service in the region.
In order to accommodate the new electric lines, a number of bridges require rebuilding, including structures at Lostock Lane in Bolton, and Railway Road in Adlington, which will both begin in June.
Building work at Lostock Lane will begin on June 2 and will continue until October 10, meaning that the road will be closed for four months.
The work in Railway Road in Adlington will take place from June 9 until November 7 — leaving the road closed for a total of five months.
Lostock Lane connects Westhoughton with De Havilland Way and Chorley New Road as well as providing a popular route for residents of Westhoughton to get to the Middlebrook Retail Park and the Reebok Stadium.
Cllr David Chadwick, Bolton Council’s transport representative said: “I know people will be unhappy with the road closure — but there is absolutely no alternative. This is major work that needs to happen in order for electrification to come in.
“We are now only 18 months away from electric lines opening in Bolton, which is brilliant.”
Lostock borough councillor Bob Allen added: “There is not a lot we can do about the closure because we all want electrification in Bolton but we as a council need to hold Network Rail to account and make sure that when they say four months, that means four months.”
Other bridges in Bolton that will be re-built in the near future include Orlando Bridge in the town centre, the Farnworth Tunnel and a bridge at Station Road in Blackrod.
They are all due to be finished by December 2016 when the electric line between Manchester and Preston via Bolton will open.
Ian Joslyn, area director for Network Rail, said: “Our programme of work to electrify the railway in the North West and upgrade the infrastructure as part of the Northern Hub will provide many benefits to passengers, including faster journeys where possible and more seats and capacity.”
“We have done all we can to plan the work to complete it safely in the shortest amount of time to help keep disruption to a minimum.”
Network Rail said it will be clearly signposting any road closures and diversions created because of the work.