David Postle leads the Railway’s Conservation and Heritage Committee, and is therefore in charge of the Bridgnorth Redevelopment project, and the new building being constructed at the south end of the station. He issued this public response on Friday:
It has been drawn to my attention that there has been some discussion on the forum of late concerning two major elements of the Bridgnorth new building – firstly the slow progress being made to complete the project, and secondly the exposure of the roof timbers to the elements for some period of time. As Derby 4 quoted me as saying some time ago, I am disappointed with the rate of progress, and I will now add a personal concern that the roof timbers have been left exposed for some time.
What I would like to reassure all the people who are discussing this on the forum is that I and the team are working very hard behind the scenes to resolve both these issues. We have been looking closely at the cause of delays. As you will all recall,the building was supposed to be handed over in October but we have asked for a realistic date for when that handover might now take place. As I am sure you will realise, there are now serious implications for us in the timetable whereby we had hoped to move the bar and complete the works to the listed building by Easter. The bar relocation can clearly not happen now until after the main running season is over due to the disruption and loss of income it would cause. This is also partly tied up with the situation over the roof trusses as we are currently assessing the implications of them having taken on so much moisture in the last few weeks. We are having to look closely now at a restructuring of the whole project timetable.
Bear in mind that the Bridgnorth project also includes the refurbishment of the listed building, provision of car park and access road, the installation of the turntable and the improvement of the public realm.
By looking again at the timetable, it may be we do things from now in a slightly different order, but rest assured, we will still be doing some work on the Bridgnorth project throughout the 2018 season, and trying to tie it in with the needs of the operational season and the activities at Bridgnorth station.
What I would like to reassure all of you is that we are not just sitting back and watch it happen. What we are working on has reached a critical and sensitive stage, but we are mindful of two main aspects – firstly that we have a responsibility to the generosity of people who kindly bought shares in the project in good faith and to make sure that their generosity is not used wastefully; and secondly that the end product is one we are proud of and is built to the highest standards to last as a legacy for our successors.
I am away in another part of the country at the moment, but just wanted to re-assure you all that these matters are not just being ignored.
What I am proposing that on my return next week, as soon as there is anything definite that I can report, then I will do so in an NBI for the wider circulation and you are welcome to respond to that if you should so wish.
Many thanks for reading, and I hope to report more positive news in the very near future about the very issues that you express concern about.