A bridge in Rutland was so seriously damaged by a lorry on 5 November that the railway may be closed between Leicester and Peterborough for the next three weeks, Replacement buses are running and freight trains carrying essential goods are being diverted via London. Fosters Bridge at Ketton crosses the A6121, which will also be closed until repairs can be completed.
Trains return ++ More trains are running today after the cancellation of three 24-hour RMT strikes at the eleventh hour on Friday afternoon. Train operators were unable to change the rosters for thousands of drivers and other train crew immediately, and timetables are slowly returning to normal day by day. The strikes would have been staged on Saturday, Monday and tomorrow, and ‘intense negotiations’ between the RMT, Network Rail and train operators are now underway. The union has also warned that more strikes may be called unless there is a settlement, and a ballot of its members authorising fresh walkouts until April closes a week today.
Metro expansion ++ Transport North East has set out a business case for an extension of the Tyne & Wear Metro which would give Washington a rail connection and also be the start of reinstating the Leamside line. The Washington Metro Loop would include new stations at Follingsby, Washington North and Washington South. The scheme would cost £745 million, and TNE said the trains would replace 1.7 million car journeys a year.