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Its not quite the end of the line, yet

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 00:00 GMT on Saturday 21st May, 2011.

IN MARCH, Cumbernauldnl.info reported on the Dullatur residents that were left in limbo about the future of a historic bridge, which led to the Antonine Wall.
 
However, after numerous back and forth correspondence Jamie Hepburn MSP has discovered that no real final decision has been made, meaning that it’s still all to fight for.
 
Before the election, Jamie wrote to Network Rail, North Lanarkshire Council, and Transport Scotland, after local residents contacted him expressing concern that the bridge would be removed to make way for the electrification of the rail line, but without any plans to reinstate the crossing. The organisations have since confirmed that no final decision has been made, but that a range of options are being considered.

In a letter to Jamie Hepburn, North Lanarkshire Council Head of Planning & Development Shirley Linton said:

“I understand that Network Rail have…identified the existing bridge as one for possible removal as it is not fit for electrification purposes.  However, they have also advised that there are other factors which are still being considered, including, among other things, ownership of the bridge, third party rights to use it, the availability of other railway crossings…and their suitability for pedestrian use.”
 
In his reply to Jamie Hepburn, Network Rail Chief Executive David Higgins said: “Network Rail owns the structure and part of the process of identification for removal would…be consideration of the availability of other railway crossings…and their suitability for pedestrian use.”
 
 
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Also writing to Jamie Hepburn, Transport Scotland Chief Executive David Middleton said: “The pedestrian bridge you refer to has been identified for possible removal under the EGIP [Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvements Programme] as Network Rail route surveys have established that there is insufficient clearance to safely accommodate the high voltage overhead lines which will enable the operation of the new electrified EGIP services…

“It is important to stress that no final decision has yet been made and that Network Rail who own the bridge are in discussion with North Lanarkshire Council and are considering a range of options including the construction of a replacement crossing.”
 
Commenting, Jamie Hepburn MSP said:

“The organisations involved in the future of the Dullatur Farm Bridge have provided some helpful clarification, and in particular I’m encouraged that there is recognition that some form of pedestrian crossing must be retained.

“If no solution can be found other than demolishing the bridge, then ideally it should be replaced with a modern alternative that will allow the walkers, cyclists, riders and others who currently use this route to continue doing so.  I understand that the bridge is part of the Council’s Core Paths Plan so the route must be maintained.

“While the electrification of the rail line is hugely important, it is imperative that existing rights of way are respected and that a walking route over the rail line at Dullatur Farm is retained.  I’ll continue to work with local residents and the relevant organisations to make sure that happens.”

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