REPAIRS are to be carried out to a historic railway viaduct to ensure its safety.

Accrington Railway Viaduct is one of the town’s crowning examples of architecture, representing its entry into the industrial age.

Recent checks of the Grade II listed structure, which runs from Blackburn Road to Milnshaw Lane, have uncovered a number of defects.

These include a substantial fracture in the masonry, small trees growing out of the structure, stonework defects and defective drainage and pipes.

Network Rail, which owns the Victorian structure, has applied for listed building planning consent in order to make a number of repairs to keep it in working order.

A report said engineers had also discovered water seepage at points across the structure.

The application said Network Rail implements a system of regular monitoring which picked up on the defects “at an early stage”.

Leader of Hyndburn Council Miles Parkinson backed the plan saying: “It’s vital that we support Network Rail in their efforts — it’s a key part of the infrastructure.

“It’s also a wonderful landmark which is lit up at night makes the town stand out and shows our history.”

The plan will see replacement of damaged brickwork, repointing, stitching and grouting cracked masonry and installation of cast-iron effect guttering to replace missing or existing UPVC drainpipes.

The most severe defect is on span six, near King Street, is described as a “substantial fracture” which requires the installation of metal plates to help the load bearing capacity of the structure.