Bridge replacement at Burgess Hill is looked at

WORK is in progress to find a way of replacing the Keymer Junction Bridge in Burgess Hill.

The bridge, owned by Network Rail, is one of only three rail crossings in Burgess Hill and links the eastern side of the town with the town centre.

Hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists cross it each day and utility companies use the bridge to run power cables across it.

However, it is in a state of disrepair and scheduled for demolition.

The South Mid-Sussex County Local Committee has made saving the bridge a priority for 2013/2014 and wants to build a replacement.

The county council is working closely with Mid-Sussex District Council, Burgess Hill Town Council, Network Rail and utility companies to agree on how to proceed.

Funding for the replacement bridge will come from the utility companies, who need the bridge to carry plant over the railway line, and developer’s contributions.

County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “We want people to know we are doing everything we can to deliver a new bridge.

“Once issues related to access, land ownership and railway expansion are resolved, we are confident the residents of Burgess Hill will have something far superior in future.”

Network Rail is currently investigating the possibility of expanding the railway line.

Therefore the design and placement of a new bridge is critical to prevent the need for major alterations at a later date.

Andrew Barrett-Miles, Leader of Burgess Hill Town Council, said: “The retention of St Wilfrid’s Bridge is of strategic importance for our long term sustainable travel plans for the future development of the town.”

Mid-Sussex District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Gary Marsh, added: “We recognise that a bridge in this area is an important community link, allowing sustainable access by foot and bike to the centre of Burgess Hill. We support the renewal of this link, and the use of developer contributions to achieve this.”