Wiltshire Council has postponed work to infill two railway tunnels in Devizes after an outcry by residents.

The council decided to infill the tunnels, redundant since the closure of the Devizes railway line in 1966, after a statutory inspection found they were not up to a satisfactory standard.

One of the tunnels goes under Hillworth Road, close to its junction with Long Street, and the other goes under Potterne Road between Southgate Inn and Southgate House.

The plan was to remove soil and other material from the old railway embankment at Caen Hill and transport it on lorries through the town, down Hillworth Road and to the bottom of Charles Morrison Close.

It would then be stockpiled on grass at the foot of the cul de sac and transferred to the tunnels by tipper trucks.

But residents of Charles Morrison Close were horrified at the prospect of up to three months of heavy lorries going down the narrow and winding road past their homes.

One resident said: “A lot of elderly people live here and that number of lorries coming through here would have caused them a lot of distress.”

The work would have required the suspension of parking along Hillworth Road and Charles Morrison Close, possibly until June. At least four lorries a day would have gone through the town centre.

Wiltshire Council said it had resolved the work after receiving numerous letters, calls and e-mails.

A spokesman said the council had a duty to ensure that bridges have sufficient capacity. “Cancelling these works completely is unfortunately not an option,” he said.

“We firmly believe that infilling beneath the two bridges remains the most effective long-term solution. However, access to the site is severely compromised and a solution must be reached.”