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Buses replace trains between Sittingbourne and Sheerness as emergency gas repairs continue at Kingsferry Bridge

Buses will replace trains between Sittingbourne and Sheerness for another day as emergency gas repairs continue.

The Kingsferry Bridge was first closed on Monday afternoon after the leak was discovered on the mainland in the gas main.

The road is closed from the Kingsferry roundabout (18846877)
The road is closed from the Kingsferry roundabout (18846877)

Two holes have been found in the gas main pipe, located in a tunnel, underneath the bridge.

Despite initially saying it would reopen yesterday lunchtime, the crossing remained closed throughout yesterday and Southeastern later confirmed it would remain shut during Wednesday.

It means traffic has to be diverted over the Sheppey Crossing while trains are suspended and replaced by buses which do not call at the Swale stop, near the bridge.

SGN gas engineers worked throughout the night to carry out repairs, but due to the proximity of the leak to the railway, the line remains closed.

A Southeastern spokesman said: "Our priority is to get passengers to work and back home, but due to a gas leak near the railway between Sheerness-on-Sea and Sittingbourne all lines will be cancelled on this route whilst the leak is repaired.

“We’re informing passengers that there are replacement bus services, but, unfortunately the road around Swale is closed to allow the work to take place, therefore no buses will be able to stop there.All other stations will be served by the buses.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and we strongly advise passengers to allow extra time for their journeys, and to check before they travel using the Southeastern website, National Rail Enquiries or follow @Se_Railway for live Twitter updates using #Swale.”

Customers who are delayed by more than 15 minutes as a result of this should claim for Delay Repay compensation via the Southeastern website.

A SGN spokesman said: "Repairs to our gas network, in the Kingsferry Bridge on the Isle of Sheppey, are more complex than originally anticipated.

"Our engineers will continue to work around the clock, to ensure our repairs are completed as quickly as possible.

"To ensure everyone's safety, the old Kingsferry Bridge on Sheppey Way is closed to motorists while we make the required repairs.

"The Sheppey Crossing will remain open and motorists should use this as an alternative.

"We'll be ushering those who are unable to use the Sheppey Crossing, including pedestrians and cyclists, over the Kingsferry Bridge when it's safe to do so.

"Access to Ridham Dock via Old Ferry Road is not available. Please use an alternative route."

The Kingsferry Bridge itself can still go up and down for traffic in the estuary.

Read more: All the latest news from the Isle of Sheppey

Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

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