After weeks of saying Firgrove Hill was to close 24/7 for six full weeks from October 2, Network Rail has this week revised its road closure to night-time only.
The news will come as a huge relief to commuters trying to access Farnham station and the A31, as well as town centre businesses still reeling from the four-month closure of West Street earlier this year.
Network Rail will be jet washing the Firgrove Hill railway bridge between October 2 and November 17 before painting it with a special protective paint to prevent the metal from corroding.
The company had notified nearby residents, as well as posting on the one.network website, that this would require a complete road closure 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the duration of the works.
But after repeated requests for more detail from the Herald and county councillors Andy MacLeod and Catherine Powell, Network Rail this week confirmed the road closures would only take place between 8pm and 6am nightly.
The saga of Firgrove Hill
The Herald first approached Network Rail for more information on August 31, and after three weeks of bouncing emails between Network Rail and Surrey County Council, the former finally shared details of its proposed six-week road closure on Firgrove Hill with the Herald last Friday.
These erroneously confirmed a “full road closure/diversion route will be in place for the duration of the works”, which Network Rail said would take place on the Firgrove Hill railway bridge daily across two shifts: 8pm to 6am and 7am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
A Network Rail spokesman later added “the closure is six weeks” and confirmed there would also be weekend works from October 1 to 2, and December 9 to 11.
However, the Herald shared this information with county councillors Andy MacLeod and Catherine Powell at last Friday’s Farnham Infrastructure Programme meeting, who said this information contrasted with that provided by county highways officers and posted online.
Many more phone calls and emails followed before both councillors MacLeod and Powell received confirmation from Network Rail that, while works will continue on the bridge in daytime, the road closure will only be imposed between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday, from October 2 to November 17.