A major effort is underway to help ease the impact of work which will close off one of the main routes in and out of Stirling’s Riverside area.
The temporary closure of Seaforth Place and Causewayhead Road to facilitate bridge replacement works was unanimously agreed at a special meeting of Stirling Council’s planning and regulation panel yesterday (Tuesday) as part of Network Rail’s Edinburgh to Glasgow improvement programme.
The works programme will take up to 42 weeks, from June 15 to May 2014, and will require three consecutive road restrictions.
Seaforth Place is the largest and most complex part of the project, supporting the future electrification of the railway to Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane.
Panel chair Councillor Margaret Brisley said: “The council is working closely with Network Rail to ensure there is as little disruption to individuals and businesses as possible. It’s imperative Network Rail keeps the public informed throughout the process so people are aware of alternative routes and timings well ahead of the work beginning, to enable people to plan their journeys.
“Network Rail has assured us there will be an extensive publicity campaign to include drop-in information sessions as well as advertising.”
Riverside councillor Corrie McChord said later he had asked for a meeting to take place with the local community council as soon as possible, adding: “Network Rail agreed they would do so. It is vital for the whole of Stirling that residents are fully informed and disruption is kept to a minimum and I welcome that the full bridge will reopen during the Christmas 2013 trading period.”
Fellow Riverside councillor Danny Gibson said: “All councillors expressed concerns on behalf of Stirling residents whilst I believe feeling there was little option but to reluctantly approve these ultimately necessary works. During the meeting I called on Network Rail to consider making the large council-run Forthside car park free of charge for motorists for the 42 week period. This could benefit residents, businesses and reduce traffic flow on other roads and be an immediate benefit for locals during the closure period.
“I also called on Network Rail to consider resurfacing the carriageway at Lovers Walk in Riverside. Whilst it has low traffic use just now, this will inevitably increase during the closure period and I hope it can be addressed in advance. On both suggestions they did confirm they would give them full consideration and I look forward to hearing more on this.”
The Causewayhead Road rail bridge is also to be replace by lifting out the existing structure and replacing it with a new one. The work will require Causewayhead Road to be closed for 12 days – while the Seaforth Place work is already going on. Discussions are also said to be continuing with the council’s roads service on diversion routes during that closure.