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Ufton Nervet rail bridge to open this week

Bridge will replace 'notorious' level crossing 12 years after tragic crash killed seven

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Ufton Nervet victim's family in bridge plea

A NEW bridge – which has been built to replace the notorious Ufton Nervet level crossing – will open on Friday.

Seven people died and more than 120 were injured when a train hit a car that had been deliberately parked on the crossing and derailed 12 years ago.

Since the tragedy, on November 6, 2004, a further four people have died at the crossing, taking the number of fatalities to 11.

On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the fatal incident, Network Rail confirmed it had found the £8m it needed to build the bridge.

The plans were approved in August 2015 and work began in March this year.

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday, December 16, at 4pm.

Newbury resident Jane Hawker, who was on the 17.35 high-speed First Great Western Service from Paddington to Plymouth when tragedy struck, said it would provide closure.

However, the project has met with some hostility locally, with Ufton Nervet resident Peter Newell and former Mortimer district councillor Geoff Mayes both claiming that a full barrier crossing with CCTV cameras would be a more cost-effective and sensible option.

Network Rail insisted a bridge was the only suitable option.

The bridge will be no more than 29ft high, have earth banks on either side and be planted with trees and other flora.

According to Network Rail, about 150 trains, including stopping services, through trains and freight trains, pass through Ufton Nervet every day.

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Article comments

  • LeeCripps

    12/12/2016 - 14:02

    As the others have already pointed out, you won't find many people that would have chosen Ufton over Thatcham for spending the £8m on a bridge!

    Reply

  • grumpy

    12/12/2016 - 13:01

    What an absolute waste of money, should have done Thatcham instead.

    Reply

    • NewburyLad

      12/12/2016 - 14:02

      Should have just closed the road completely - it was a minor road and there was an alternative route barely 3/4 of a mile away. Plus, amazing how quickly they can build a completely new bridge in what seems less time than they are taking to renew the Boundary Road bridge.

      Reply

  • Tricky

    12/12/2016 - 12:12

    Millions spent on this, used by dozens of cars. Nothing spent on Thatcham used by thousands of cars. All to do with appearing to do the right thing!

    Reply

  • NewburyLad

    12/12/2016 - 08:08

    Now get on with it and find a solution to Thatcham level crossing, which causes misery every single day.

    Reply

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