Gateshead: Riddle of three keyst looses and road closures continues

Image copyright Blythwood Image caption A pothole in Blythwood Road has been filled and fixed

An engineer has been called in to investigate the cause of a huge kerb stone fall at another site near Bloor Hill in Gateshead.

Dozens of cars were struck by the loose stones when huge stones fell from a brick wall onto the northbound carriageway of the A1 at Bloor Hill last week.

It is understood the incident is not connected to the massive fall in February which left dozens of vehicles damaged.

In that case, the Office of Rail and Road is currently completing an inspection of its Northumbrian freight route which traverses Newcastle.

It has also set up a dedicated incident telephone line for those affected and passed on an email address for reports.

Bike lane

The Cabinet Office announced on Monday that the lay-by on the A1 northbound near Bloor Hill had been reopened after being closed for more than a week.

It said several repairs to the surface had been made, including filling cracks and resculpting the road.

Due to extensive support and repairs to the banks and levelling of the pavement, the signs at the level-crossing point are still in place and will remain for some time.

The line of material from the temporary rebuilding of the wall to the pedestrian crossing is approximately the length of four football pitches.

Closures have taken place in areas around the road and on the B9143 dual carriageway over the past few weeks and measures are in place to ensure road users are adequately maintained.

“Safety is of the upmost importance and we’d like to thank motorists for their patience,” the Cabinet Office said.

Bracing walls

More than 100 residents have been described as “devastated” after the Health and Safety Executive instructed the Wilmslow Civic Society to fill gaps and then send out letters asking them to take steps to reduce the pressure on their crumbling brick walls.

It was also reported that one child was hit by a stray brick on Tuesday, with the boy attended by emergency services.

The local authority said it was now contacting those affected to organise emergency repairs.

It apologised for the inconvenience caused by the works, but stressed that it followed Section 17 guidance, which says action needs to be taken to prevent corrosion affecting buildings and roof tiles.

“The builders, Asbestos Market Surveying Limited, have informed us that their main concern, like many of the jobs which they have completed in recent years, is to reduce the current pressure on the wall. That action has now been taken,” a spokesman said.

The Civil Engineer’s (PA) claim centre staff can be contacted on 0350 700 5508, or email [email protected].

Missed appointment

Rail bosses said they will hold an urgent meeting with engineers on Thursday to discuss a key track mile within the Gorton area which has been held up by problems with the new loos.

This was part of the £15m upgrade of part of the local line which was closed on Monday.

Trains between Newcastle and Gateshead are running while the problem area is repaired.

Image copyright Ross On Twitter Image caption A lengthy section of rail was closed on Monday between Newcastle and Gateshead

Earlier in the week, Railtrack said the works which were due to take two weeks to complete had been delayed to ensure two further gaps between rail bridges could be secured in time for the 21st anniversary of the Bandit train disaster.

This involves using a new method of lowering the more than 700-metre-long loosets over the tracks, without causing the bends or damaging the track.

Ross Corrigan, Conservative candidate for Gateshead Central said commuters in the area were being unfairly targeted over the delays.

“My understanding is that there is very little in the way of trains running at Gateshead and many of these are returning trains,” he said.

“The last thing that we need is this new way of loosing slack at crossings, particularly as rail safety is such a vital issue in Gateshead and the UK.”

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