RESIDENTS have made complaints to authorities over the 'crumbling' condition of the footbridge by Earley train station.

The footbridge at Earley train station, joining Station Road to Nightingale Road, Woodley, has been the subject of concern recently, with residents fearing the deterioration of the walkway.

One resident claimed: "The foot bridge over the railway at Earley station is crumbling, with large chunks of rust about to fall off.

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"These are directly over the track, which presents a risk to trains.

He added: "This bridge has been in a crumbling state for some time, and you can seen where fresh concrete is showing due to bits falling off."

The residents said they had complained to Network Rail about the 'hazard' but had been forwarded over to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) as it would come under a planned renewal project.

Reading Chronicle:

WBC executive member for highways and transport Pauline Jorgensen said: “We are in the early stages of looking at completing work to improve the crossing over the A329M and railway line.

"We inspect the current footbridge quarterly and the last inspection in December shows no obvious deterioration compared to previous inspections.

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"The footbridge remains safe to use.”

The issue of the Earley footbridge was also brought up in a full council meeting, held on January 21.

Reading Chronicle:

Earley Town Councillor Mike Smith asked: "Back in June 2020, I asked about the state of the footbridge at Earley station.

"Nine months on, what are the stages of the funded and planned replacement of that footbridge?"

Responding to this, WBC leader John Halsall said: "As you probably know, WBC has commenced a project to replace the WBC owned footbridge which links Nightingale Road in Woodley to the Earley Station forecourt (but not to the platforms).

"The project is currently at the detailed design stage and for the avoidance of doubt will be Equalities Act compliant with both ramp and stair access.

Reading Chronicle:

"Network Rail were approached as part of this design process to seek their collaboration specifically around incorporating access onto their platforms.

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"Unfortunately, Network Rail have informed the Council that they are not interested in a collaboration at this time, and consequently we are unable to include this element within this project.

"Ultimately it is Network Rail’s responsibility to ensure that access to their platforms are compliant with the Equalities Act, and whilst we, as a Council, are willing to collaborate, we are unable to compel them to undertake the works."

Cllr Clive Jones, Earley Town Councillor, added: "The bridge is at least 45 years old. It is really time that the bridge was repaired.

"It's time we are able to have disabled access on the footpath."

Network Rail stated "The bridge is owned by Wokingham Borough Council, so it’s not a Network Rail bridge."