HOPES that work to demolish a railway bridge could be delayed until the New Year have gone up in smoke.
The road bridge on Tithebarn Street, between Poulton and Carleton, is set to be demolished and rebuilt as part of plans to electrify the railway line between Preston and Blackpool.
Traders hoped the work could be delayed to miss the Christmas rush but Network Rail has this week confirmed the work will begin in November.
At a recent meeting, Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson told residents he had asked if the work could be put back.
He said: “I had a meeting with Poulton traders who wanted the work doing in January so they wouldn’t lose business over Christmas.
“Wyre Council has asked Network Rail that the work is carried out in the New Year but so far we have not had a response.”
News of the start date for the work, which will take around three months to complete, will come as a blow to businesses including Suda Thai restaurant on Castle Gardens Crescent in Carleton and the Kabuki independent clothes shop who have complained how the project would impact on their businesses.
But a Network Rail spokesman has ensured minimal disruption.
He said: “As part of the project a number of bridges need to be rebuilt to provide the extra height for overhead power lines.
“We have worked closely with train operators and local authorities along the length of the route to ensure the work is carried out with minimal disruption to both rail and road users.
“In the case of Tithebarn Street, the work is scheduled to be carried out between November and February avoiding the busy summer season.
“We will be holding a number of information sessions along the route during July.
“Of course, we will also write directly to homes and business in the Tithebarn Street area to keep them updated with our plans.”