A major road is set to be closed for ten weeks to allow repair works are carried out on a railway bridge.

Network Rail will be carrying out essential repairs to the railway with Stoneclough Road, Kearsley, closed to traffic from Saturday July 22 until Sunday October 1.

The works will be carried out from July 10 to October 13.

The repair work is said to be  essential with the structure having new props inserted to raise the bridge, before the old props are removed.

The props will also be raised to ensure that they are not damaged again by any sized vehicle with the main aim of the work being to secure the longevity of the bridge and safety.

The Murphy Group are the assigned contractors to carry out the work on behalf of Network Rail and from July 3 the team will be in the area to commence setting up the site.

From July 10 they will be preparing the vicinity for the work to begin which includes removing all the Japanese Knotweed from both sides of the bridge.

Traffic signals will be in place on Stoneclough Road for two weeks from this date.

Working times will be between Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm with some taking place  in the evenings.

Evening work will take place on Saturday nights, and will be necessary to carry out this evening work when the railway is closed to running trains.

Works will take place on Saturday 5, 12, 19, 26, between 11pm and 9am.

Excavators and drills will be used during the period, a crane to install the new props and remove the old props.

Once the work is completed there will be an intrusion of steel work on the pavement on the train station side making the pathway narrower.

A compound will be set up at the field in between Stoneclough AFC and The Hare and Hounds but according to former councillor Tracey Wilkinson, the site office will most likely now be situated near Hazelmere and not the field next to the Hare and Hounds.

The Bolton News: Map which shows the works to take placeMap which shows the works to take place (Image: Cllr Tracey Wilkinson)

Vehicle access under the railway will be closed for ten weeks from Saturday July 22 from 9am to Sunday October 1 but pedestrian access will be maintained for the majority of the works.

In mid-August the footpath will be managed for pedestrian access via Marshalls.

Tracey said: “From July 22 Stoneclough Road will be closed completely for ten weeks except pedestrian access which will still be available throughout.

“I raised the issue with TFGM about those residents with mobility issues being unable to access a bus into Farnworth.

“The TFGM officer has said he is still making enquires to see if an additional eight seater mini bus could be used to take residents to the bridge on either side and then shuttled to where the 512/513 will be terminating.

“If this runs it will only be used during off peak times only 9.30am to 2.30pm.

“It is possible parking maybe restricted on the closest section of Stoneclough Road nearest to the bridge on the Kearsley side.

“This would be to ensure there is ample turning space for the minibus if used by TFGM.

“The rest of Stoneclough Road will not have any additional parking restrictions.

“This road closure is going to make a huge impact to residents, businesses and road users but it is essential work for the safety of all.

“Farnworth and Kearsley First will continue to voice concerns and raise issues on behalf of residents and continue to post any updates we receive in due course.”

Network Rail have confirmed trains will not be affected by the work taking place.

Transport for Greater Manchester are still finalising details but as it currently stands:

  • The 513 service from Bury will terminate at Ringley and return back to Bury.
  • The 512 service from Bury will do the rounds in Prestolee and then terminate on Bridge Street before returning back to Bury.
  • The 512 service from Farnworth will do the rounds on the Grosvenor Estate and terminate and Randolph before returning back to Farnworth.
  • School bus arrangements are still to be confirmed.

In a statement from One Kearsley, Cllr Debbie Newall, stated: "We are very aware of the concerns being raised by our residents regarding this road closure.

"Both Cllr Debbie Newall and Cllr Melanie Livesey attended the Drop In held by Network Rail and stressed these concerns to the Network Rail and transport official who were in attendance.

"We are working with our Highways Engineers and Waste and Recycling  officers regarding traffic diversions and the continuation of service in the villages.

"We are in regular contact with officers and other agencies and will continue to update our residents of any developments. Should any issues arise during the closure, One Kearsley will of course deal with the situation on behalf of our residents"

If at any time now or during the repair work that residents wish to raise concerns or issues, please contact the helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.