Bridges: Great Musgrave

Department for Transport written question – answered on 1st July 2022.

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

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the £30,000 figure they provided for the cost of removing infill material at Great Musgrave Bridge remains accurate; whether this represents the total cost of the (1) removal, and (2) reinstatement; and if not, what is the total amount allocated to that project by National Highways.

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

Great Musgrave bridge forms part of the Historical Railways Estate (HRE) and is managed on behalf of the Department by National Highways.

The high level estimations provided in August 2021 by National Highways for the removal of the infill at Great Musgrave bridge were based on the assumption that the removal would occur at the same time as works to reinstate a railway. In this scenario, contractors would already be on site, with all associated plant, machinery, welfare and safety and traffic management in place. If removal were to occur without contractors being in place for railway reinstatement, then the costs of all associated plant, machinery, welfare and safety and traffic management need to be added to the sum. Based on it being a one-off operation, in October 2021 estimates were shared with the HRE Stakeholder Advisory Forum that advised that the costs of removing the infill would be in the region of £80,000 to £90,000 which includes for the contractor to remove the infill and make good the ground.

The difference between the two estimates relates to whether the work is done in isolation or is incorporated as part of a larger rail reinstatement scheme.

Following the recent planning committee decision on the retrospective application to retain the infill at Great Musgrave, the cost of removing the infill, disposing of it off-site, undertaking repairs and strengthening works and subsequent assessment and examinations over a 60-year period has been estimated to be between £316,000 and £431,000 depending on the strengthening technique that is applied. These costs were discussed with the HRE Stakeholder Advisory Forum in October 2021.

National Highways is working closely with the Eden District Council and Cumbria County Council to understand their aspirations for the structure and to agree appropriate works.

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