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A railway bridge in the North West village of Daisy Hill, near Bolton, may have to close after a bid to have essential maintenance on it failed.

The Bolton News reports that Bolton Council sought funds of £2.5m with a Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund application to the Department of Transport (DfT) to have the bridge, which sits on a vital road for the village, re-decked. The council, and a third party, would provide further funding of £250,000.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We have completed a number of structural surveys on the railway bridge at Daisy Hill. We are currently in the process of finalising our detailed structural survey which will determine if any repairs or strengthening work needs to take place.

“We will continue to work with Bolton Council should further work need to be undertaken.”

The council has argued that the bridge deck had reached the end of its lifespan, and the proposed maintenance was “necessary to remove the health and safety risks and to avoid the weight restriction or closure that is due to be implemented”.

However, DfT has stated that the repair work was “not listed as a priority” by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

GMCA had been granted almost £21m from the government already as part of the Transport Infrastructure Fund, which the state says could be used in Daisy Hill also. DfT also said it awarded GMCA £5.884m for two successful bids through the Challenge Fund last autumn too.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We are currently awaiting Network Rail completing testing and cannot make any decisions until we have that information.

“The bridge is a significant one in our network which is why it was a priority bid for us and we will continue to seek funding for replacement.”

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