A RAILWAY bridge which sits on a vital road in to a village could be closed after a bid to have maintenance on it failed.

Bolton Council lodged a Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund application to the Department for Transport (DfT) asking for £2.5m to get the Daisy Hill railway bridge re-decked.

A further £250,000 each would be forked out by the council and a third party as part of the plans.

The local authority argued that the bridge deck has "come to the end of its lifespan" and the proposed scheme is "necessary to remove the health and safety risks and to avoid the weight restriction or closure that is due to be implemented".

But the DfT said the project was "not listed as a priority" by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which has been handed nearly £21m by the Government this summer as part of the Transport Infrastructure Fund.

The state say this money could be used in Daisy Hill too.

DfT also said it awarded GMCA £5.884m for two successful bids through the Challenge Fund last autumn too.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We are currently awaiting Network Rail completing testing and cannot make any decisions until we have that information.

“The bridge is a significant one in our network which is why it was a priority bid for us and we will continue to seek funding for replacement."

Westhoughton South councillor David Wilkinson worries about how the bridge closure would affect traffic.

He said: "If it is closed it will be a case of panic as we only have two ways into Daisy Hill – through Leigh Road and Wearish Lane.

"I would have to say that the council had got to do something to pay for it."

Network Rail is in the middle of carrying out tests on the bridge.

A spokesman said: “We have completed a number of structural surveys on the railway bridge at Daisy Hill.

"We are currently in the process of finalising our detailed structural survey which will determine if any repairs or strengthening work needs to take place.

"We will continue to work with Bolton Council should further work need to be undertaken.”

GMCA have been approached for comment.