MOTORISTS are being warned to steer clear of Farnborough's busy Prospect Road railway bridge during April while emergency repairs are carried out by Railtrack.

The bridge will be closed to all vehicles from Tuesday, April 2, for up to three weeks. It will remain open to pedestrians.

The work needs to be done because Railtrack engineers have discovered corrosion in a cast iron section of the bridge that now requires urgent strengthening. The engineers will insert a new steel column to support the iron bridge, built in the 19th century as an extension to the original brick arch bridge that it sits alongside.

Rushmoor Council is working with Railtrack to try to reduce traffic disruption caused by the closure.

Mr Ken Millington, Rushmoor's Highway Maintenance Manager, said: "We have arranged for two diversion routes to cater for traffic in each direction. One route will use West Heath Road and the other will be via Prospect Avenue and Farnborough Road to avoid overloading local roads."

The bridge is also heavily used by children walking to school, so it will be kept open for pedestrians during the repairs.