Bridge closure will lead to five months of disruption

Clare Strange

Clare Strange

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

A WINTER of disruption lies ahead for commuters, residents and businesses after Network Rail announced plans to close the railway bridge at Stratton Green for five months.

The bridge over the railway in Swindon Road is to be closed for 20 weeks from November 17 as Network Rail reconstructs it, in line with the Great Western Electrification Programme.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be permitted to cross, but all vehicles will be forced to take a diversion taking them as far west as the Transfer Bridges.

Pub worker Clare Strange, 34, is a mother-of-two living in Verwood Close, Park North, who, during term-time, takes her daily commute to The Dockle Farmhouse in Bridge End Road via Goddard Park Primary School.

The shift manager now faces an extended commute along already-congested roads to the pub, which may face a tough time keeping busy with no direct routes to Greenbridge Retail Park, Liden or Nythe.

“If I am coming to work it normally takes me seven minutes, but if it’s going to take me a long time, that could affect me getting to work,” she said.

“It gets busy down here (Bridge End Road) anyway. I finish at 3.30pm and I pick my kids up on the way home.

“We should be told about things like this. I have lived here for so long and nobody has got in touch to let us know about this.

“I put my kids in an after-school club so I don’t have to rush to pick them up. I pay them for half an hour and if you are as little as 10 minutes late they charge you up to six o’clock.

“That all adds up in the long-term. There’s a few of us that live that way, over in Liden, Nythe and Park North. We’re all going to be affected.

“I can’t believe they’re going to do it over Christmas too. Everyone goes to Greenbridge and either comes here for breakfast or lunch as a part of their day. We’re just hoping our reputation will carry us through.”

Darren Gee is the manager at The New Inn in Swindon Road. He shared some of Clare’s concerns on the prolonged road closure.

“We have a lot of regulars and locals that come from that side,” he said.

“There are a number of darts teams and pool teams who come here for matches too.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the plan. Cars are queuing up around here as it is. It will be horrendous..”

Andrew Haynes, project director for Network Rail, said: “Significant work is required on this bridge in order to prepare it for electrification and the benefits this will bring.

“We understand that this temporary closure could inconvenience those who live and work in the area, and we are working closely with Swindon Council to minimise disruption and complete the work in as short a timeframe as possible.

“We will be holding a public event in September to explain more about the work we are undertaking and to provide an opportunity for people to ask questions. More details about this event will be available shortly.”

Comments (25)

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7:27am Tue 19 Aug 14

Steve700 says...

"“We should be told about things like this. I have lived here for so long and nobody has got in touch to let us know about this."

You have been told - 3 months before it starts - that's why you're having your photo taken on a bridge.....

The bridge over the railway in Swindon Road is to be closed for 20 weeks from November 17 as Network Rail reconstructs it, in line with the Great Western Electrification Programme
"“We should be told about things like this. I have lived here for so long and nobody has got in touch to let us know about this." You have been told - 3 months before it starts - that's why you're having your photo taken on a bridge..... The bridge over the railway in Swindon Road is to be closed for 20 weeks from November 17 as Network Rail reconstructs it, in line with the Great Western Electrification Programme Steve700
  • Score: 51

8:01am Tue 19 Aug 14

Tommyvercetti says...

Steve700 wrote:
"“We should be told about things like this. I have lived here for so long and nobody has got in touch to let us know about this."

You have been told - 3 months before it starts - that's why you're having your photo taken on a bridge.....

The bridge over the railway in Swindon Road is to be closed for 20 weeks from November 17 as Network Rail reconstructs it, in line with the Great Western Electrification Programme
Exactly stop whinging and get on with it.
[quote][p][bold]Steve700[/bold] wrote: "“We should be told about things like this. I have lived here for so long and nobody has got in touch to let us know about this." You have been told - 3 months before it starts - that's why you're having your photo taken on a bridge..... The bridge over the railway in Swindon Road is to be closed for 20 weeks from November 17 as Network Rail reconstructs it, in line with the Great Western Electrification Programme[/p][/quote]Exactly stop whinging and get on with it. Tommyvercetti
  • Score: 25

8:07am Tue 19 Aug 14

Always Grumpy says...

Why does the Adver persist in giving space to dopy birds whinging about something that hasn't even happened yet?
Face the inevitable love, get over it and move on.
Why does the Adver persist in giving space to dopy birds whinging about something that hasn't even happened yet? Face the inevitable love, get over it and move on. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 22

9:10am Tue 19 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

Cycle to work. Problem solved.
Cycle to work. Problem solved. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 19

9:39am Tue 19 Aug 14

mark oliver swindon says...

maybe some people will walk for a change, particularly if it only takes 7 mins in a car! this needs to be done so get over it,
maybe some people will walk for a change, particularly if it only takes 7 mins in a car! this needs to be done so get over it, mark oliver swindon
  • Score: 24

9:52am Tue 19 Aug 14

scottwichall says...

20 weeks to do a bit of work to a railway bridge? Brunel would be spinning in his grave.
20 weeks to do a bit of work to a railway bridge? Brunel would be spinning in his grave. scottwichall
  • Score: 7

10:53am Tue 19 Aug 14

toyota777 says...

In the early sixties I cycled from Park South to the Rodbourne Arms area and back every day summer and winter so before people start wingeing about hardship they should have some before they open their mouths.
In the early sixties I cycled from Park South to the Rodbourne Arms area and back every day summer and winter so before people start wingeing about hardship they should have some before they open their mouths. toyota777
  • Score: 7

11:16am Tue 19 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

toyota777 wrote:
In the early sixties I cycled from Park South to the Rodbourne Arms area and back every day summer and winter so before people start wingeing about hardship they should have some before they open their mouths.
Quite right. In the early 90's before I could drive I cycled from west Swindon to south marston ind estate to start work for 6am. Goddard park school to greenbridge is around a mile so no biggy
[quote][p][bold]toyota777[/bold] wrote: In the early sixties I cycled from Park South to the Rodbourne Arms area and back every day summer and winter so before people start wingeing about hardship they should have some before they open their mouths.[/p][/quote]Quite right. In the early 90's before I could drive I cycled from west Swindon to south marston ind estate to start work for 6am. Goddard park school to greenbridge is around a mile so no biggy Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 9

11:27am Tue 19 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

Might help us to lose the tag of the fattest town in Europe if more did cycle too. We all want things to be improved but seem to think it happens by magic! Temporary disruptions are commonplace and we just have to work around them.
Might help us to lose the tag of the fattest town in Europe if more did cycle too. We all want things to be improved but seem to think it happens by magic! Temporary disruptions are commonplace and we just have to work around them. house on the hill
  • Score: 10

1:00pm Tue 19 Aug 14

SoundOfReason says...

“We should be told about things like this."

Well I saw it on the Advertiser website last week. And a number of family & friends mentioned they saw it in the paper, so not sure how much more notice you want? Maybe a public notice stapled to your forehead? Besides I live on one side (Swindon Road) and work on the other side (Covingham) of this bridge and yes it will be a pain temporarily, but these things need doing, just accept it and stop moaning.
“We should be told about things like this." Well I saw it on the Advertiser website last week. And a number of family & friends mentioned they saw it in the paper, so not sure how much more notice you want? Maybe a public notice stapled to your forehead? Besides I live on one side (Swindon Road) and work on the other side (Covingham) of this bridge and yes it will be a pain temporarily, but these things need doing, just accept it and stop moaning. SoundOfReason
  • Score: 12

1:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

GrumpyLocal says...

Meanwhile in america this is done over one weekend.
https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=SAAMx0W-
7S8

20 weeks is just ridiculous, particularly as it's going to done mainly in term time, during the winter/spring when people are wanting to drove more anyway.
If this had been started over summer when people are happier to walk/cycle and there is lees traffic due to school holidays & factory shut downs there would be far less strain on the already overcrowded routes over/under the railway lines in Swindon. Farcical to say the least.

As for the article itself, it's one thing to complain about the closure but another thing to complain the about lack of warning when there is/was a 3 month warning that prompted the complaint in the first place!!
Meanwhile in america this is done over one weekend. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=SAAMx0W- 7S8 20 weeks is just ridiculous, particularly as it's going to done mainly in term time, during the winter/spring when people are wanting to drove more anyway. If this had been started over summer when people are happier to walk/cycle and there is lees traffic due to school holidays & factory shut downs there would be far less strain on the already overcrowded routes over/under the railway lines in Swindon. Farcical to say the least. As for the article itself, it's one thing to complain about the closure but another thing to complain the about lack of warning when there is/was a 3 month warning that prompted the complaint in the first place!! GrumpyLocal
  • Score: 3

1:28pm Tue 19 Aug 14

are u mad says...

excise the pun but i think these people need to build a bridge and get over it!!!!
excise the pun but i think these people need to build a bridge and get over it!!!! are u mad
  • Score: -3

1:49pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Chalkie at 5 Days says...

Don't Forget this will take out the Hospital No.20 Bus service, the No.7 Highworth to Swindon and Swindon to Witney buses also this bridge. A request to discuss plan with Network Rail & Borough was made many months ago by the local Parish Councils affected by the electrification which hasn't happened so far.
Don't Forget this will take out the Hospital No.20 Bus service, the No.7 Highworth to Swindon and Swindon to Witney buses also this bridge. A request to discuss plan with Network Rail & Borough was made many months ago by the local Parish Councils affected by the electrification which hasn't happened so far. Chalkie at 5 Days
  • Score: 1

3:54pm Tue 19 Aug 14

GrumpyLocal says...

GrumpyLocal wrote:
Meanwhile in america this is done over one weekend.
https://www.youtube.

com/watch?v=SAAMx0W-

7S8

20 weeks is just ridiculous, particularly as it's going to done mainly in term time, during the winter/spring when people are wanting to drove more anyway.
If this had been started over summer when people are happier to walk/cycle and there is lees traffic due to school holidays & factory shut downs there would be far less strain on the already overcrowded routes over/under the railway lines in Swindon. Farcical to say the least.

As for the article itself, it's one thing to complain about the closure but another thing to complain the about lack of warning when there is/was a 3 month warning that prompted the complaint in the first place!!
Apologies for all the spelling errors! Didn't proof read!
[quote][p][bold]GrumpyLocal[/bold] wrote: Meanwhile in america this is done over one weekend. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=SAAMx0W- 7S8 20 weeks is just ridiculous, particularly as it's going to done mainly in term time, during the winter/spring when people are wanting to drove more anyway. If this had been started over summer when people are happier to walk/cycle and there is lees traffic due to school holidays & factory shut downs there would be far less strain on the already overcrowded routes over/under the railway lines in Swindon. Farcical to say the least. As for the article itself, it's one thing to complain about the closure but another thing to complain the about lack of warning when there is/was a 3 month warning that prompted the complaint in the first place!![/p][/quote]Apologies for all the spelling errors! Didn't proof read! GrumpyLocal
  • Score: -4

5:13pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Mushymushy says...

Always Grumpy wrote:
Why does the Adver persist in giving space to dopy birds whinging about something that hasn't even happened yet?
Face the inevitable love, get over it and move on.
How rude are you,do you know this person, obviously not you grumpy old git.
[quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Why does the Adver persist in giving space to dopy birds whinging about something that hasn't even happened yet? Face the inevitable love, get over it and move on.[/p][/quote]How rude are you,do you know this person, obviously not you grumpy old git. Mushymushy
  • Score: -3

5:21pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Popsycle says...

What appears to have been missed, assuming the article in the Adver on Saturday was correct, is that the bridge over the railway on Ermin Street will also be shut at the same time leaving little alternative route from East Swindon to Stratton. Yes this will cause large tailbacks of vehicles turning right onto Ocotal Way from Greenbridge, always assuming the tailback from Transfer Bridges isn't that far back! Concerned for children going to the Grange schools who live south of the railway - yes some can walk but we are talking about the winter months when most will be driven to school.
What appears to have been missed, assuming the article in the Adver on Saturday was correct, is that the bridge over the railway on Ermin Street will also be shut at the same time leaving little alternative route from East Swindon to Stratton. Yes this will cause large tailbacks of vehicles turning right onto Ocotal Way from Greenbridge, always assuming the tailback from Transfer Bridges isn't that far back! Concerned for children going to the Grange schools who live south of the railway - yes some can walk but we are talking about the winter months when most will be driven to school. Popsycle
  • Score: -2

5:48pm Tue 19 Aug 14

positive person says...

Things in life do change and give us a challenge
We need to take things in our stride and be inventive.
I suggest that this mother could park her car at the nearest point in green bridge retail car park and walk over green bridge
It will only take two to three minutes

People needing to take their children to school can walk it's better all round
Those who work can compromise by parking as close they can on the east side of the railway line and walk the rest
Yes you will need to leave home ten minutes earlier.
But you will benefit from getting your blood flowing and feeling more awake.

Many years ago I lived in Colebrooke and worked in cheek manor.
I cycled everyday to work even when pregnant
I was very fit and well.

Did not have any entitlement to maternity leave and was back at work after two weeks
I dI'd have a car but could not afford to waste money in petrol
As I had to pay for a child minder

Today we see challenges that are really just an inconvenience
Better to adapt and smile
Things in life do change and give us a challenge We need to take things in our stride and be inventive. I suggest that this mother could park her car at the nearest point in green bridge retail car park and walk over green bridge It will only take two to three minutes People needing to take their children to school can walk it's better all round Those who work can compromise by parking as close they can on the east side of the railway line and walk the rest Yes you will need to leave home ten minutes earlier. But you will benefit from getting your blood flowing and feeling more awake. Many years ago I lived in Colebrooke and worked in cheek manor. I cycled everyday to work even when pregnant I was very fit and well. Did not have any entitlement to maternity leave and was back at work after two weeks I dI'd have a car but could not afford to waste money in petrol As I had to pay for a child minder Today we see challenges that are really just an inconvenience Better to adapt and smile positive person
  • Score: -3

5:53pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

house on the hill wrote:
Might help us to lose the tag of the fattest town in Europe if more did cycle too. We all want things to be improved but seem to think it happens by magic! Temporary disruptions are commonplace and we just have to work around them.
Exactly my first thought.
Outrage at having to sit in a traffic jam for an hour in the morning....Or a short walk?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Might help us to lose the tag of the fattest town in Europe if more did cycle too. We all want things to be improved but seem to think it happens by magic! Temporary disruptions are commonplace and we just have to work around them.[/p][/quote]Exactly my first thought. Outrage at having to sit in a traffic jam for an hour in the morning....Or a short walk? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 4

8:37pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Sir Fawn Maker says...

are they seriously suggesting that people shopping at greenbridge who fancy lunch at dockle get in their cars???

now THAT is the definition of a lazy town
are they seriously suggesting that people shopping at greenbridge who fancy lunch at dockle get in their cars??? now THAT is the definition of a lazy town Sir Fawn Maker
  • Score: 7

9:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

the_bored1 says...

7 mins to drive! should be walking, cycling if you live that close to work!
7 mins to drive! should be walking, cycling if you live that close to work! the_bored1
  • Score: 1

10:39pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Wigmeister says...

It will cause traffic chaos in Stratton for 5 months? So there are benefits then!
It will cause traffic chaos in Stratton for 5 months? So there are benefits then! Wigmeister
  • Score: -3

7:19am Wed 20 Aug 14

Ripsnort says...

I will be inconvenienced a lot due to this closure but if work has to be done then so be it and yes, it's a case of just getting facing up to it and finding alternative methods or routes. I just wish they'd planned it May-September for fair weather walkers/cyclists and when there are approx. 6 weeks school holidays meaning less traffic anyway. This is an extremely busy road to be closed for such a long period so they should be working on it for as many hours a day as possible (so they start during the shortest days of the year). Let's hope it's not like many of the coned off sections of motorways where many are inconvenienced and work is rarely seen to be going on.
For those saying just walk or cycle etc. that's something I will and can consider but each person has different circumstances which would mean this isn't feasible. Life isn't as black and white for some as it seems to be for yours;)
I will be inconvenienced a lot due to this closure but if work has to be done then so be it and yes, it's a case of just getting facing up to it and finding alternative methods or routes. I just wish they'd planned it May-September for fair weather walkers/cyclists and when there are approx. 6 weeks school holidays meaning less traffic anyway. This is an extremely busy road to be closed for such a long period so they should be working on it for as many hours a day as possible (so they start during the shortest days of the year). Let's hope it's not like many of the coned off sections of motorways where many are inconvenienced and work is rarely seen to be going on. For those saying just walk or cycle etc. that's something I will and can consider but each person has different circumstances which would mean this isn't feasible. Life isn't as black and white for some as it seems to be for yours;) Ripsnort
  • Score: 1

10:25am Thu 21 Aug 14

johntomjo says...

Get a bike then ..we will have loads for sale at the scrapstore for charity in time for christmas
Get a bike then ..we will have loads for sale at the scrapstore for charity in time for christmas johntomjo
  • Score: 2

12:46am Fri 22 Aug 14

unfarepaying passenger says...

A lot of people are saying that it could have been done at a different time but there are many bridges that require this kind of work as part of the electrification program. If this one was done earlier or later, then another one would take its place. i.e. another area/town would suffer the same inconvenience.
As for walking instead of taking the car, time seems a factor here to avoid paying excess after school club fees.
A lot of people are saying that it could have been done at a different time but there are many bridges that require this kind of work as part of the electrification program. If this one was done earlier or later, then another one would take its place. i.e. another area/town would suffer the same inconvenience. As for walking instead of taking the car, time seems a factor here to avoid paying excess after school club fees. unfarepaying passenger
  • Score: 1

11:49pm Wed 10 Sep 14

Clareypurple says...

It's so nice when u get judged by people that don't know you or your situation.

So this is my story - I have worked at the dockle for 9 and half years , believe it or not folks I used to cycle every day, I then had my first child who then I would cycle and drop of to nursery on my way to the dockle. I learnt to drive as I knew it would benefit me and my family when we had our 2nd child ! My children are Now 7 and 3 one is at school and one goes to pre-school / nursery . My husband works nights he gets in about 6:40am and I leave straight to go to work, which takes me 7 minutes by car to get there on time, as a duty manager ( even though apparently I'm a dopey bird) I have a responsibility to let my team into the pub so I need to be there on time. Which I haven't failed yet and don't intend too! As u can see I can't leave earlier as I have two children asleep in the house until my husband gets in from his night shift, I can't cycle because I would then be late and can't fit two kids on the back of my bike ( I do miss cycling)

When I finish work I pick one child up from the childminders and one up from after school club, again if I'm late I will get charged extra every time!

So yeah I was talking out loud when the advertiser came in to ask our views on the bridge closure, my response was " what bridge closure" I hadn't heard anything about it - voiced my opinions and hey presto next I'm in the paper just one story of how it could effect people! Their is going to be quite a lot of people this will effect in different ways - but if u actually knew me then u would know I will take it as it comes and work things out!

Thanks for listening - I could talk for hours !
When the bridge does close , u can always come and see me for a natter and a cuppa at the Dockle - we do amazing good quality food deals especially being a 5* food rating pub !!! Open from 8am so if your stuck in the traffic pop in for a breakfast and coffee!
It's so nice when u get judged by people that don't know you or your situation. So this is my story - I have worked at the dockle for 9 and half years , believe it or not folks I used to cycle every day, I then had my first child who then I would cycle and drop of to nursery on my way to the dockle. I learnt to drive as I knew it would benefit me and my family when we had our 2nd child ! My children are Now 7 and 3 one is at school and one goes to pre-school / nursery . My husband works nights he gets in about 6:40am and I leave straight to go to work, which takes me 7 minutes by car to get there on time, as a duty manager ( even though apparently I'm a dopey bird) I have a responsibility to let my team into the pub so I need to be there on time. Which I haven't failed yet and don't intend too! As u can see I can't leave earlier as I have two children asleep in the house until my husband gets in from his night shift, I can't cycle because I would then be late and can't fit two kids on the back of my bike ( I do miss cycling) When I finish work I pick one child up from the childminders and one up from after school club, again if I'm late I will get charged extra every time! So yeah I was talking out loud when the advertiser came in to ask our views on the bridge closure, my response was " what bridge closure" I hadn't heard anything about it - voiced my opinions and hey presto next I'm in the paper just one story of how it could effect people! Their is going to be quite a lot of people this will effect in different ways - but if u actually knew me then u would know I will take it as it comes and work things out! Thanks for listening - I could talk for hours ! When the bridge does close , u can always come and see me for a natter and a cuppa at the Dockle - we do amazing good quality food deals especially being a 5* food rating pub !!! Open from 8am so if your stuck in the traffic pop in for a breakfast and coffee! Clareypurple
  • Score: 4

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