WORK to replace Abergavenny railway station’s ageing footbridge could be completed by April next year amid wider redevelopment plans.
Network Rail are restoring the latticed part of the Grade II listed structure having removed it last July after an inspection found the bridge and its staircases to be in disrepair.
The section will be strengthened, repainted and fitted with an anti-slip surface, according to a report to Monmouthshire council’s North Monmouthshire area committee.
Before it can be reinstalled the section connecting the station’s two platforms must also be refurbished, with work set to begin next month.
Between December 3 and April 16 2019, a temporary footbridge will be installed allowing passengers to access both platforms. The station will remain open throughout the work.
“Safety is a key priority and for this reason a large amount of this work must be carried out while trains are not running,” the Network Rail report says.
“This means carrying out a lot of our improvements during the night and at weekends. The equipment we use means some disturbance is unavoidable.”
The report also reveals that plans to improve Abergavenny station’s accessibility for disabled passengers have moved closer.
With the footbridge unusable, disabled people using the station must call ahead at least 24 hours in advance to ask for members of staff to guide them over the tracks using a barrow crossing.
Members of the Abergavenny Rail Access Campaign, councillors and national politicians have long called for a new footbridge with pedestrian lifts to be built to allow full access to both platforms.
Upon taking over the Wales and Borders rail franchise, Transport for Wales (TfW) announced that Abergavenny would be a key Disability Wales pilot station for accessibility and inclusive design.
Transport for Wales has committed to spend £800 million on the Welsh rail network, including investments at Abergavenny and Chepstow stations.
Funding could also come from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access for All scheme, which is accepting application for new projects between 2019 and 2024.
Abergavenny was nominated as a priority station in a list of 15 potential schemes submitted to the DfT on November 16. A decision on which stations will receive the funding is expected next spring but work to redevelop the station may not start until 2023.