Railways: Bridges

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 21 April 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Randerson Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review existing plans by Highways England to demolish historic rail bridges and tunnels; and whether they have plans to instruct Highways England to prioritise measures that encourage walking and cycling.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Highways England manages the Historical Railways Estate on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport and has been in touch with all the local authorities affected, to advise them of its plans, and to see if they have any use for the structures. Highways England is pausing works where local authorities have raised queries about the works, and where there is credible interest for possible re-purposing and transfer of ownership of the assets.

The Department has also asked Highways England to consult with the relevant local authorities concerning the retention, where practicable, of access for pedestrians and cyclists. Highways England continues to work with local authorities and other groups to protect routes for active travel or future rail use. Indeed, several structures are being transferred this year to assist with this.

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