Low Ashyard Railway Viaduct

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 22 October 2021.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what structural assessment has been made of the (a) condition and (b) integrity of Low Ashyard Railway viaduct; what work has been undertaken on that viaduct to date; and what future works are required.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Low Ashyard Bridge is listed on the National Highways (NH) website as being on hold as it falls within the pause across the Historical Railways Estate. However, National Highways intend to strengthen this structure to maintain access – the route under the bridge is currently used for active travel (the Chris Hoy Cycleway).

In 2010, due to issues with the strength of the bridge, the local highway authority imposed a 7.5 tonne weight limit on the road over the bridge. The bridge is inspected annually by the Historical Railways Estate team.

In December 2019 a detailed examination of the structure found that the timber bearings had failed. As a result, temporary props were installed in 2020 to ensure the routes over and through the bridge remained open and safe to use.

National Highways is in discussions with Ayrshire Roads Alliance about the future of this bridge. The plan is to design a strengthening solution, delivered next financial year, that keeps the cycleway open.

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