Concerns over ‘falling metal’ from bridge

Nick Henderson finds a lump of metal under Valley Bridge.Picture 131418.
Nick Henderson finds a lump of metal under Valley Bridge.Picture 131418.

A Scarborough man has made a plea for urgent action after he found a large piece of metal which looks to have fallen from Valley Bridge.

Nick Henderson, 33, who lives in Crown Crescent, was horrified to find the green-painted piece of metalwork lying on the path which runs under the historic bridge.

He said: “It could have killed someone. It’s about a quarter of an inch thick and must weigh about half a kilo.

“I found it on the Ramshill side of the footpath, just under the bridge. There were lots of bits that had come off, but this was the biggest.”

Mr Henderson, who uses the path regularly and has raised the issue before, contacted North Yorkshire County Council straight away.

He said: “I’ve been concerned about it for a while now. I’ve reported it to the county council, who’ve said they’ll look into it, but nothing seems to be happening.

“I dread to think what would have happened if it had come down on somebody, or it had gone through a car windscreen.”

Mr Henderson said he has seen what look like council workers sweeping and tidying the area under the bridge, but that no repair or safety work seems to have been carried out in a long time.

He said: “It’s just not on. Something really needs to be done about this.”

In January The Scarborough News contacted North Yorkshire County Council regarding concerns over the bridge and its state of repair.

A council spokeswoman said that the bridge was due to receive a six-figure refurbishment later this year.

She explained that last September, the council had arranged for specialist access contractors to remove any deteriorating, non-structural components on the bridge that were in danger of falling off.

The spokeswoman added that although the bridge looked visually worse as a result of this work, it was safe.

After contacting the county council again yesterday, The Scarborough News received the following response: “North Yorkshire County Council inspects Valley Bridge every week and is currently in the process of contracting for a major £450,000 refurbishment of the bridge parapets which is due to begin in September.

“Our weekly inspections show that nothing is missing from the bridge that has not been previously removed by our own engineers.

“The county council carried out a detailed inspection of the bridge last September, which required hands-on roped access, and on that occasion engineers removed deteriorated pieces of the cast iron bridge.

“These pieces were all decorative and not structural. On April 16 the county council will carry out a second detailed roped-access inspection of the bridge which is part of the monitoring of the structure in advance of the refurbishment works. The bridge will continue to be inspected by engineers until the work is complete.

“The planned programme for September will include maintenance to the bridge superstructure and movement joints, surfacing, waterproofing as well as the parapet refurbishment.”