Spalding residents fight against plans to close popular footbridge
Walkers and cyclists are fighting plans to close a popular footbridge for more than a year .
Lincolnshire County Council has announced that Two Plank Bridge, in Spalding, will be closed from July 17 until next winter while it is replaced with a new 16 tonne steel structure.
However, this has not gone down well with people who use the footbridge.
The county council says it is necessary to close the route due to safety concerns while it is replaced as part of the Spalding Western Relief Road construction.
A n online petition to fight against the closure has attracted more than 400 signatures so far.
While John Batterham, of Angelica Drive, says that the county could implement other measures to allow people to use the route.
Mr Batterham said: “The two alternative routes that have been suggested are both totally unsuitable. The route via Jobsons Bridge is far too long for most people to walk.
“The other route along Spalding Road is shorter, but far more dangerous. In addition to very heavy road traffic, there are building site entrances on both sides, plus in the near future a large five way roundabout will be under construction.
“Do Highways consider this to be a safe environment? Would they be happy to let their children walk or cycle along there to school?
“It is necessary to close the route for a short period whilst the bridge is replaced, but it should be opened up again as soon as the new bridge is completed.
“The lane could then be diverted around the perimeter of the roadworks site. These measures have been implemented on other construction schemes, and could be on this one, with a little effort and goodwill.”
The petition has been started on the Change website. This states: “For this bridge to be shut off would be a massive issue for loads of people, one having to find other routes which are not as nice or even safe as this route and two destroying what countryside is left in this town.”
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said he was aware of the petition.
He said: “However, it’s essential that we close the route to ensure the safety of everyone that uses it. This is while we replace the bridge and carry out large-scale engineering works along the path.
“Safety comes first during all of our roadworks and having people continue to use a path where up to fifty construction lorries a day will be crossing would be very dangerous.
“I want to assure everyone that we will do our very best to get these works finished as efficiently as possible once we start and the footpath back open as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
The petition, “to prevent the closure of the pedestrian route between Spalding and Pinchbeck”, can be viewed at:www.change.org