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: November 2021

Latest updates

Hampshire County Council’s appointed contractor, Knights Brown, are continuing to progress the works for bridge replacement and have started the piling operations for the bridge foundations.

The site compound is located in the Osmonds Bushes car park and will comprise offices and welfare facilities. The compound buildings are powered by a super silenced generator until is possible to connect directly to a cabled power supply to be installed by SSE to keep noise to a minimum and reduce carbon emissions compared to a traditional diesel generator setup.

Additional temporary car parking area for contractor’s staff has been agreed with Forestry England and is located at Clay Hill Car Park. This area will also be used for temporarily storing the topsoil collected at Holmsley Bridge whilst the A35 is being re-aligned. This topsoil will be re-used over the new embankments and verges as part of the scheme’s natural regeneration process.

The construction of the new bridge has started, with the pile caps’ construction being close to completion and the next stage – erecting the formwork for abutments - due to start shortly.

The traffic management will be phased as follows:

  • 1 September – 17 December 2021: Single Lane closure on the A35 managed with two way lights
  • 1 September – 17 December 2021: Full road closure of C10 Station Road
  • Between 4 January and 8 April 2022, C10 Station Road and the A35 will be fully closed
  • Both roads will reopen at Easter and afterwards, all remaining work will take place under traffic management arrangements, including potentially night working and single lane closures during the day

We will coordinate our new timetable with National Highways and their contractor for the A31 road widening scheme to minimise any potential effects of concurrent closures.

Below are links to the drawings showing the designated diversion routes during road closures:

The cycle route NCN2 will be closed for the duration of the works. A temporary diversion route is being prepared in collaboration with SUSTRANS and New Forest National Park Authority.

Plan of the cycle diversion route

The undesignated bridleway running under the north span of the bridge will also be closed for the works duration. The points of closure are as agreed with Forestry England.

Bridleway closure

The Old Station Tea Rooms will be open for business, as usual.

Completion of the contract prior to summer 2022 is vital for the New Forest economy and so every effort will be made to recover the time lost and to complete these works within the programmed timescales.

Hampshire County Council and Knights Brown will continue to work closely with the New Forest National Park Authority, Verderers, Natural England and Forestry England throughout to make sure the work is conducted out sensitively in this unique part of Hampshire.

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

Full road closures and lane closures on the A35 (road over the bridge) and C10 (road under the bridge) will be required for some operations while the new bridge is being built.

Every effort will be made to minimise disruption during these phases, and signed diversion routes will be in place.

Close attention will be paid to Holmsley Passage to ensure this narrow road is not used unnecessarily by drivers during the duration of the works.

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