Holmsley Rail Bridge Replacement

Holmsley Bridge, which carries the A35, a major route into the New Forest, is to be replaced with a new structure by Hampshire County Council

Last update: May 2022

Latest updates

The C10 Station Road under the bridge remains closed.

Contractors constructing the new Holmsley Bridge in the New Forest are set to carry out repairs to a damaged surface water drainage pipe on the C10 Station Road.

Initial investigations have uncovered cracks in the existing drainage pipes, and the anticipated scale of the repair now needs to increase to address these. However, we do not envisage the duration of the repairs increasing.

This essential work will be carried out during the ongoing temporary closure of Station Road and is expected to take 10 working days to complete.

The Old Station Tea Rooms will be open for business as usual while the work is undertaken and the existing signed diversion route for Station Road will remain in place.

On the A35, the temporary two-way traffic signals have now been moved to enable the installation of new safety barriers and to allow Vodafone to finish diverting their services.

While it had been planned to open Station Road earlier in April, this was not possible as work to move an overhanging temporary support on the west side of the bridge had to be rescheduled because of birds nesting underneath the support. The provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 require the nest to remain undisturbed until the chicks leave. The nest is being closely monitored and work will resume as soon as the chicks have left.

Localised traffic management will be needed on both roads for various construction activities until the end of June when both the bridge and highway improvement works are expected to be fully completed. The 40mph temporary speed limit will remain in place on the A35 until then.

Scheme overview

The £5.5 million scheme will replace the 113 year old bridge on the A35 that runs over the C10 Burley to Sway/Brockenhurst road and re-align approximately 380 metres of the A35. In order to keep traffic flowing, the new bridge will be built alongside the existing bridge, and then the old steel bridge removed.

The footpath/bridleway that currently runs under the existing bridge will be maintained but slightly realigned. The footpath/bridleway will be closed for the duration of the works.

The Osmonds Bushes Public car park, located to the south east of the bridge, will also be closed for the duration of the works and will be used as the site compound. An additional area for site compound /material storage, if needed, will be made available at Markway Hill (off A35).

The internationally-designated New Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site and the nationally-designated New Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) cover the entire site area.

Avon Water runs in close proximity of the site area.

An Environmental Statement has been prepared in relation to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the scheme.

Mitigation measures

Existing views of the bridge and artistic impression of what the new bridge will look like when complete.

Where the work is taking place

Holmsley Bridge location map

When the work is taking place

Hampshire County Council has appointed Knights Brown Ltd to carry out the bridge replacement and A35 road realignment scheme. The main works are due to start in August 2021 and completion is expected by end of June 2022, thus avoiding disruption to traffic during the main tourism season.

During the mobilisation period HCC and Knights Brown will develop the necessary environmental and traffic management plans to ensure that the scheme is carried out sensitively in this unique part of Hampshire and that all necessary approvals are obtained prior to works starting on site.

HCC and Knights Brown will continue to work closely with the New Forest National Park Authority, Verderers, Natural England and Forestry England throughout the mobilisation and contract periods.

Traffic management

Temporary two-way traffic signals are now in place on the A35 to protect both road users and the workforce while construction activity continues north of the bridge location.

The C10 Station Road under the bridge remains closed and a diversion route is in operation.

Holmsley Passage remain closed.

Liaison and Communication

Hampshire County Council has been working closely and extensively, and will continue to do so, with the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA), Verderers, Natural England and Forestry England to make sure the scheme is carried out sensitively in this unique part of Hampshire. The mitigation measures identified in the Environmental Statement and resulting from planning approval process with the NFNPA have been accounted for throughout the scheme preparation and the appointed contractor will incorporate these in the construction of the works.

Hampshire County Council is in close contact with the nearby residents and local businesses to keep them fully informed, and this will continue during the construction phases.

Contact us
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Hampshire County Council
The Castle

SO23 8UD