Network Rail have cleared a significant hurdle in their plan to fully replace the bridge over the rail tracks at Kerse Road. Stirling Council’s “Environment and Housing” Committee voted 4-2 to grant a “road closure” order, adding to the Planning Permission Network Rail were granted last month. The order was granted subject to the successful conclusion of a programme of works to mitigate the effects on road safety and community inconvenience during the closure. Kerse Road Bridge is on one of the city’s main arterial routes, accommodating around 22,000 vehicle movements every day.
2018 timetable for works
A temporary bridge will be built to ensure pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained at all times. Motor vehicles will face the following restrictions:
- January – March 2018: the route will be reduced to one lane, accommodating traffic heading OUT of the city.
- April – September 2018: the route will be fully closed while the current two lane bridge is replaced with a new three-lane bridge
- October – December 2018: the route will reopen to two way traffic, with narrow lanes and speed restrictions
- Christmas 2018: All restrictions will be lifted and the route will be open. There will be two further weekend closures to allow finishing work including road marking, and to remove all of the equipment associated with the project.
Official Diversion Route
Stirling Council are legally obliged to designate an official diversion route for all traffic. This route must start and finish at the closure point. For illustration, the official route would require drivers who wish to get from Aldi to Waitrose to travel out of the city to the motorway junction roundabout (the one with Granada Services) and then travel down the Glasgow Road and onto the Burghmuir Road.
Mitigation Measures for Braehead & Broomridge
Everybody, including council officials, recognise that drivers with local knowledge will use their own diversion routes, meaning some roads are expected to see a significant increase in traffic volumes. This includes the Pike Road-Broom Road-Linden Avenue corridor. Stirling Council and Network Rail have been working closely with the local Community Council and have agreed the following mitigation measures:
- Pike Road: Speed activated signs warning drivers going faster than 30mph to slow down.
- Broom Road: a new zebra crossing to link the two bus stops at Carrick Court
- Linden Avenue: a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Afton Court
- Linden Avenue: a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Valleyfield Place
- Pike Road & Linden Avenue: more prominent signage informing drivers that there is a 7.5 tonne weight restriction meaning only vehicles making deliveries within the area over this weight may use the roads.
Stirling East Councillor Chris Kane says,
“Network Rail initially presented a totally unacceptable thirteen month full closure of the bridge. Through a lot of hard work from Stirling Council officers and intense lobbying by Braehead Community Councillors and elected councillors, this has been negotiated to a six month full closure with significant mitigation measures on affected roads.
Road safety is my number one priority and the proposed series of mitigation measures will go a long way to securing this, as will the clear commitment from Network Rail and Stirling Council to spring into immediate action if something unexpected happens.
This will have to be monitored extremely carefully and regular, meaningful communication with communities and affected businesses throughout the closure. Network Rail have been told that their level of engagement with businesses in Springkerse is not up to scratch and they have committed to an immediate improvement in communication.
While this closure will cause a huge inconvenience for local residents and Springkerse companies, it is important to remember that Stirling is open for business and ready to give our usual welcome to tourists and day trippers. The further away from the closure you are the more time you’ll have to react to the diversionary signs. Visitors traveling to or from the motorway network really shouldn’t notice much, if any, time added to their journey.
Nobody thinks this is an ideal situation but at the end of the process we’re going to have a bigger, better bridge and an electrified railway with better, faster more environmentally friendly trains.”