MOTORISTS and commuters face disruption while Network Rail engineers dismantle and rebuild bridges over tracks in the Romsey area.

The work, which is likely to start this spring, is to allow bigger freight trains to pass under bridges on the Salisbury to Southampton line.

Network Rail is still finalising the scheme which includes raising two brickbuilt bridges between Mottisfont & Dunbridge station and Romsey station by about one foot, together with another two between Romsey station and Redbridge.

Network Rail says the work is vital and is in connection with freight transport at Southampton Docks.

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Two of the bridges carry busy roads over the railway lines, one is on the B3084 near Lone Barn Farm close to Awbridge, and the other is on the A27 at Ashfield.

A further bridge at Lee Drove at Lee and another at Rockwood Copse on the outskirts of Awbridge is also being altered to accommodate taller freight trains.

Gary Gaskarth from Network Rail said: “Work is currently expected to start in the spring. The work will have minimal impact on train service.

“From experience of similar projects, it would normally be necessary to close the railway once when the bridge deck is demolished and once when a new one is lifted in place.

“This would normally take place over a weekend to keep disruption to a minimum, again this could differ from bridge to bridge.”

Mr Gaskarth added that the length of road closures would depend on what work is being done on each individual bridge and the public will be kept informed about closures.