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Kettering Rail Bridge

Volume 627: debated on Thursday 13 July 2017

9. If he will ensure that work to strengthen the Kettering rail bridge (a) starts and (b) is completed to schedule.


Network Rail has announced that the A6013 Northampton Road, from Northfield Avenue mini roundabout to Lake Avenue, will be closed between 24 July 2017 and 4 Sep 2017. Network Rail is confident that the work will begin and finish as scheduled, and we are in regular contact with Network Rail in regard to this work.

The Northampton Road railway bridge is located right next to the busiest road junction in Kettering town centre. The junction will be closed for six weeks and will cause major disruption to the town. The frustration of local residents will at least be partly assuaged if the Minister could reassure all of us who live in Kettering that he is at least actively considering proposals to reinstate the half-hourly mainline train service north from Kettering, which will go over the repaired bridge in the new franchise.

I recognise why my hon. Friend’s constituents would have concerns, having seen a similar closure in my own constituency and the issues and problems that that has caused. I have also heard his observations and views on the extra services that he wishes to see from Kettering. We will shortly be launching a consultation on the new east midlands franchise and I am sure that his request will figure prominently in our thinking on what we do next on that franchise.