Wiltshire farmer 'not told' of rail bridge closure

Callow Hill Road bridge Image copyright Google
Image caption The bridge closure would lead to a seven-mile diversion

A farmer has claimed he was not told of major works on a railway bridge next to his farm until work began on the structure.

Network Rail has begun upgrading the Callow Hill bridge in Wiltshire as part of the plan to electrify the Great Western mainline.

The closure means motorists will have to take a seven-mile (11km) diversion.

Farmer Phil Howell said Network Rail was a "nightmare" but the firm said it had worked "closely" with the council.

Mr Howell's farm is directly alongside the railway near Brinkworth.

The row comes a year after Network Rail said it would work harder to inform residents of bridge closures after a similar closure in Dauntsey.

Network Rail 'nightmare'

Mr Howell said: "It's going to make it difficult.

"We've not had a word from Network Rail at all. The only information we managed to obtain is that we found ourselves through the internet.

"Network Rail are a nightmare in terms of communication. Other than notification that they were going to electrify the line and put gantries in we've had nothing about raising the height of the bridge."

Network Rail apologised after it was told some residents did not know about the work.

"While we understand the concerns of the local community, the closure of this bridge is essential in order to prepare it for electrification and the benefits this will bring," it said.

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