THERE’S no denying that Network Rail’s £1bn electrification project is absolutely necessary. But what has angered many affected by the scheme is how officials have gone about it.

Earlier this year the firm scrapped its original timetable for rebuilding 28 bridges across the county.

Now it has admitted more work than first thought is needed on the Fulscot Road Bridge in South Moreton – the first of the bridges in the project – and residents will have to put up with the disruption for a further six months.

Wantage and Didcot MP Ed Vaizey, who has previously labelled the company “incompetent and insensitive”, today said he is “heartened” to hear that Network Rail will be working much harder with their contractors and the county council to minimise any further disruption.

Hats off to the firm for admitting it has faced considerable challenges on the project, but with a scheme on such a scale as this, every effort possible should have been made to ensure the disruption was kept to a minimum from day one.

We hope with Mr Vaizey involved, and the pressure from the communities affected, those at the top will make sure the rest of the project runs to plan. And above all, we hope they communicate with the public who will ultimately face the severe consequences of the work.