East Riding Council will not replace footbridge over railway

Plans to replace a footbridge connecting two parts of Bridlington have been abandoned.

By Sarah Fitton
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:44 pm
The bridge when it closed in 2018. Picture: JPI Media/ Paul Atkinson
The bridge when it closed in 2018. Picture: JPI Media/ Paul Atkinson

East Riding of Yorkshire Council says the cost of a new bridge over the railway line between Georgian Way and Bessingby Industrial Estate was part of the decision to halt the replacement process.

The news will be a blow to residents who used the bridge to get to school and work and have been waiting two years for a replacement, say two of the town’s councillors.

“There’s a lot of people who feel strongly about it being replaced,” said Councillor Tim Norman.

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Georgian Way looking towards where the footbridge was. Picture: JPI Media/ Paul Atkinson

“It should have been properly maintained in the first place, in my opinion.”

The original bridge - which had connected the Hilderthorpe area with Bessingby and West Hill for over 40 years - was removed in 2018 because of significant wear and tear.

A planning application for a new bridge was put forward in January last year, but was criticised because the design had steps, making it unsuitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs, and there were concerns about whether it would offer value for money.

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said the council had no option but to shut the bridge for safety reasons.

"Pedestrians who used the bridge were directed to use the footpaths along the main routes of Kingsgate and Bessingby Road instead,” he said.

"A number of options have been explored by the council, including replacing the bridge with a like-for-like structure, replacing the bridge with added disabled access ramps, and even the creation of an underpass.

"However, following careful considerations, the council has now decided not to progress with a replacement for this bridge.

"These considerations took into account the large public costs of providing a replacement ramped footbridge, the alternative route already available to pedestrians, and the time the bridge has been out of use.

"Instead the council will look to upgrade the alternative route along the footpaths of Kingsgate and Bessingby Road, including installing dropped crossings at some junctions which don’t already have them."

But Councillor Norman and fellow Bridlington Town Councillor Andy Walker have vowed to keep fighting for a new bridge.

They say there were people who used the bridge every day and have been put out by having to use alternative routes.

If they can not persuade the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to build a new bridge, they say they will look for other ways to fund a replacement.