AN explanation has been given after a footbridge was removed from a railway station with seemingly little notice.

Network Rail has explained why it has been removed from Chester-le-Street after residents noticed work on the site had started a few weeks ago.

The organisation, which has since confirmed the bridge has not been removed because of trespass-related incidents over the years, has said it is instead part of remedial work.

Danni Rankine, Senior Project Manager for the scheme at Network Rail, said work was necessary to ensure it remains fit for purpose for many years to come.

She said: “The footbridge at Chester-le-Street station has been temporarily removed as we work to fully refurbish it and make sure that it remains fit for purpose for years to come.

“The work will see the footbridge taken off site for inspection, before being reinstalled in its proper place in late July.  

"Once the bridge is put back in place, work to improve drainage needs to take place before the scheme is scheduled to complete on August 3.

“We’re working hard to minimise any impact on station users and access to both platforms at the station is available via pedestrian access ramps. A clearly signposted diversion route is also in place.

“We are very grateful for the patience of local residents while the work takes place.”

Earlier this year, there were calls for more safety measures to be implemented at the rail station following the death of a 17-year-old boy.

Read more: Call for action at Chester-le-Street rail station following death

At the time, the grandmother of Jamie McKitten welcomed community calls for increased safety measures at the station. 

Meanwhile this was echoed by the MP for North Durham, Kevan Jones, a mental health charity and the families of two people who had died at the station over the years.

The Northern Echo understands that the issue of trespass is being looked at separately and that Network Rail is working on ways to reduce incidents in and around the area.