Update on Beresford Rd bridge following open residents’ meeting

Last night, I popped along to the open residents’ meeting held by Network Rail at its temporary site just off Horwood Close to find out more about the closure of Beresford Road bridge.

Project Manager, Karl Gilmore

Project Manager, Karl Gilmore

I was shown the way by a very friendly Network Rail employee and arrived track-side just in time to see a London-bound train whistling past (but not in time for me to get my phone out and take a snap, darn it!).

When I got to the office, I joined a local couple and we were introduced to Karl Gilmore, Project Manager, and Lois Park, Communications Manager for the build.

They were very open and answered all of my questions without hesitation and encouraged any residents with concerns, queries or observations to get in touch via the helpline (03457 11 41 41).

So, what did I discover at the meeting?  Here are my Top Ten Things to Know about Beresford Road Bridge:


1. No overlap with Windsor Road bridge
Windsor Road bridge is currently scheduled to open on the 2nd of July.  Beresford Road bridge is due to close in August 2016.  Number one on my list of questions was what would happen if the Windsor Road bridge opening was delayed?  One month leeway isn’t much.  Would both bridges be closed at the same time?

No, is the answer.  Karl and Lois both assured me that Beresford Road bridge will not close until Windsor Road bridge has opened.

2.Pedestrian Bridge
The excellent news is that there is definitely going to be one.  Here are some more details:

  • Work to construct the pedestrian bridge will take place over Saturday the 9th and 16th of April.
  • The bridge will be built on stilts and will sit on the East side of the current bridge. It will start just off Beresford Rd, at the back of Spring Garden’s Terrace, and will end at the pavement above the children’s park by Horwood Close.  Construction of the concrete plinths at either end has already begun.
  • The children’s park will be closed for the duration of the project for safety reasons as there is an electrical line running beneath it (park closure scheduled for a few weeks’ time) but Network Rail has pledged that the park will be fully refreshed afterward, with new and improved equipment.
  • The temporary bridge will have the existing services running through it (water, gas etc).
  • The pedestrian bridge WILL BE CLOSED for short periods of time to allow the crane to swing over it, but Network Rail aims to do this at night time. If it does close in the day, it will only be the case of a ten minute closure here and there.  The details, dates and times will be publicised by Network Rail via letters to residents, billboards up locally, advertisements in local papers, a newsletter that will be generated for residents and online through a bespoke page on the Network Rail website (to be launched around May time).

3.Traffic Management
Network Rail has conducted a survey across Cardiff of all the main bridges and their usage in terms of traffic, pedestrians, peak times during the day and traffic flow at night and their suggestion to Cardiff Council who, as the Local Authority will advise on the official diversion route, to divert traffic along Rover Way and through Tremorfa.

Diversion maps will be publicised locally through flyers and posters in shops, libraries etc., and in the ways listed above.


I explained people’s concerns about parking (that people would leave their cars Beresford side and walk over the bridge to their homes on Moorland side so as to avoid the diversion when going to work in the morning).  Lois advised that Network Rail had run a very similar project in Newport and that parking had not become the issue that some people thought it would but that both she and Karl encouraged residents to let them know of any problems (by calling 03457 11 41 41 or emailing

Karl advised that Network Rail is in constant discussion with the Local Authority and that, if parking on the Spring Garden’s side did become an issue, then one possible measure would be to monitor or discuss with Cardiff Council permit parking only in the affected streets.

It’s going to be a tricky time, for sure, as non-permit parking spaces on Spring Garden’s Terrace, Spring Garden’s Place and on Beresford Road are already much in demand.  Hopefully this won’t be an issue that divides neighbours as it will only be for a set period of time and is pretty unavoidable.


Some residents are concerned about lights, especially at night.  There are currently lights around the cabins making up the temporary site (as some pre-work is taking place).

Network Rail states that it is always mindful of residents and will try and limit the amount of night-work done using bright, industrial lights, which could disrupt the sleep of people on Spring Garden’s Terrace and Horwood Close.  Network Rail will also ensure that lighting is not directed into homes.  However, there will be more lights on the bridge during the construction period.


The digging currently happening at the end / back of Spring Garden’s Terrace is for cabling only and will only take 2-3 days.  After that, a drilling rig will be brought in to drill under the track and pop up the other side.  This is to move a Western Power cable that runs the length of Spring Garden’s Terrace.  I was assured that the drilling rig will only operate in daylight hours but that the power cable had to be moved and that it is a once-in-a-lifetime job.  This work will be ideally completed before the Autumn, when demand for power increases.  Network Rail is keen to make clear that when diverting utilities like power, there will be no disruption to the utilities themselves.

Some of the trees alongside the railway line have been cut down, but Karl assured me that they will be replaced by Network Rail once the digging/drilling work is completed late summer.  Before taking down the trees, they conducted a tree-survey and have a legal obligation to replace them as they are not on Network Rail land, so have consulted with a tree expert to ensure the replanting happens at the best possible time for the successful regrowth of the trees.



8.Splott Road Bridge
Splott Road bridge will be modified in future, but there are no dates yet.  Network Rail may have to conduct surveys under the bridge to see what’s there, land and services-wise, in order to understand whether the bridge can be lifted, if the tracks can be lowered or if the bridge needs to be replaced.  While they do this, there may be some single-lane closures on Splott Rd but Network Rail will co-ordinate with Cardiff Council to ensure that this doesn’t happen when other roadworks are affecting traffic flow in the area.

An awareness raising campaign will start before the closure of the bridge.


9.The new Beresford Rd bridge
During the meeting, I also learned a couple of things about the new bridge that will hopefully be opening next February.  Here we go:

  • It will be really strong! The bridge will be built to take more weight than the 7.5 tonne limit but Cardiff Council may seek to keep the limit the same as it is now.
  • It will last. The new bridge will be built to last at least 120 years.
  • The parapet will be cast concrete but textured using a RECKLI-Hudson affect to add visual effect.


10.Other interesting facts about the Electrification Project

  • Beresford Road bridge is around 110 years old.
  • In total, 28 bridges between Bristol and Cardiff will be elevated as part of the Electrification Project.
  • Between Cardiff and Swansea there are 44 bridges spanning the railway track, but this part of the project has no start date as budgets are being considered.
  • Network Rail also looks at lowering the tracks instead of elevating the bridge, but this wasn’t possible for Beresford Road bridge as there is a ‘high water table’ in the area and there would be a risk of flooding on the line.
  • Cardiff electrification is due to be complete by the end of December 2018.


So there you have it – my top ten facts about the Beresford Road bridge replacement.  I hope you like the article – please feel free to leave comments.


Here are those Network Rail details again in case you want to get in touch:

Helpline: 03457 11 41 41