A RURAL Fylde railway bridge which closed for three months has finally re–opened.
Network Rail, preparing the rail line through Kirkham to Blackpool for electrification, closed Carr Lane, the main route into Treales, in mid-September.
This week the road re–opened to users, but its closure had caused much anger in the area, with loss of business for the popular Derby Arms pub, as well as nearby New Hey Lane being used by motorists as a rat–run to avoid a lengthy diversion route.
Harry Challinor, Derby Arms landlord said: “It’s good news but it has had a devastating effect on my business.
“People think I have been compensated by Network Rail for the closure, but I haven’t and there is no way that I’ll get that lost revenue back.
“The one positive out of it all is that the bridge has re–opened in time for Christmas and people can visit the pub direct.
“Initially people were hanging back from booking due to the long diversion route, with some people on the rumour–mill saying that we had even closed, but I can assure you that is not the case. We can finally look forward to a busy Christmas.”
Drivers had been circumnavigating the lengthy diversion and using New Hey Lane as a cut-through..
Drivers were being diverted from Carr Lane to Kirkham Road via Clifton and vice-versa.
But residents feared an accident after a huge increase in two-way traffic along the narrow lane which has a sharp bend.
Signs had been put in place instructing drivers not to use the road as a diversion, but many, according to the area’s residents, avoided the requested diversionary route.
Network Rail hopes to complete the electrification ahead of May 2016.
The rail firm needs to reconstruct six road bridges, five footbridges, lower three sections of track and remove one bridge, which will provide the required clearance to install the overhead line equipment.
Fylde Mayor Coun Heather Speak was delighted at the new–look bridge.
She added: “It’s been closed for three months and it has been hard. It’s fantastic to have the road open again – fantastic for the people of Treales and those in Kirkham too.
“The bridge looks superb – we’ve dubbed it the ‘new Jubilee Bridge’. The Derby Arms suffered because the diversion was so long.
“And New Hey Lane became a rat–run while the work took place.
“But now we’ve a wonderful new bridge for the whole community.”
Network Rail was unavailable for comment.