“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” are the iconic opening words of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, describing the conflicting perspectives of the same events.

Though perhaps not an event of such a magnitude as the French Revolution depicted in the aforementioned novel, there is such a conflicting perspective in the heart of Andover.

Residents on either side of the Millway Road bridge, currently closed for maintenance work, have told the Advertiser how it has affected them, or for one side, how it hasn’t.

Residents to the south of the railway, such as Mrs Marriott, told the Advertiser that the bridge work was “not really affecting that much.”

“I do go down to the hospital,” she said, “but there’s no real downside to me.”

Even those living further afield, such as Chris Ardy, said it wasn’t too much of an issue.

He said: “If you go the hospital or the doctors it’s a longer way around, but apart from that it hasn’t affected us.”

However, heading to the north side of the tracks, where Millway Road becomes Mylen Road, it’s a different story.

Resident Christina said, while admitting the work needs to be done, that it was “a pain in the neck.”

She told the Advertiser: “You don’t realise how much traffic comes up and down this road. There’s more traffic on the road across from us now, and the traffic backs up a bit.”

The work at the bridge began on October 26, and are set to continue until April next year. The work aims to refurbish and strengthen the railway bridge, which Hampshire County Council said was because without work, it “will eventually become too weak to sustain the high level of traffic passing over it.”

The council contributed £407,000 towards the £2.96 million cost of strengthening the bridge, so that it can carry up to 40 tonnes of traffic.

Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council and executive member for economy, transport and environment said: “By negotiating with Network Rail as they plan their works, we have ensured Millway bridge remains safe and fit for purpose for the traffic it carries. Without a contribution from Hampshire County Council, Network Rail will strengthen the bridge only to their legal obligation of 24 tonnes and this could mean restrictions will need to be introduced on the road above. This could involve a weight restriction, physical road narrowing, traffic lights or a combination of all the above.”

Millway Bridge remains closed 24/7 to traffic, but it open to cyclists and pedestrians while work takes place.