Work to repair bridge wall could take weeks

Police on Wallgate after a wall collapsed on Queen Street. Picture by Simon Haworth
Police on Wallgate after a wall collapsed on Queen Street. Picture by Simon Haworth

Work to repair part of a disused subway which collapsed outside Wigan North Western station causing chaos on the railways and roads could take weeks.

Wigan Council has said the work on Queen Street could last until December 23 as Network Rail rebuild the wall, which gave way on Thursday morning.

Rubble came crashing down on a number of cars parked under the subway wall, which used to lead to a platform that is no longer in use.

The incident caused significant travel disruption as roads were closed and trains cancelled or delayed while Network Rail engineers carried out a structural assessment of the subway and bridge.

Wigan North Western was evacuated and trains halted from passing over the overpass but had all returned to normal by early afternoon.

But traffic on Wigan’s roads remained heavy throughout the day as Queen Street was closed to traffic while the assessment concluded and work began to clear the debris. Both lanes have now been reopened.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Work to temporarily repair and make safe the damaged part of the wall has taken place and Queen Street has reopened.

“We will now plan the full, permanent repair to be completed as safely and quickly as possible. There are currently no dates for this but the repairs are expected to have little if no impact on the surrounding road network.”

Network Rail has not confirmed a date for completion of the work, but the council posted on its roadworks bulletin to say it could take several weeks.

It reads: “Network Rail are carrying out emergency work to excavate spoil at the rear of a railway retaining wall, after part of the wall and arch collapsed. The work could last until December 23.”

The subway had been blocked off decades ago and Network Rail has said the repair work will make the structure stronger. No other structural issues were found.