Spalding and District Civic Society welcome plans to repair 130-year-old, grade II-listed railway footbridge
Repairs to a grade II-listed Spalding footbridge should be a chance to tidy up an area blighted by litter and fly-tipping.
Spalding and District Civic Society has welcomed plans by Network Rail to "entirely rebuild" a wrought iron and timber railway footbridge which spans Green Lane and St John's Road.
The 130-year-old footbridge has been temporarily closed by Network Rail after recent inspections showed that it was in poor condition due to damp.
A Network Rail spokesman said: "The footbridge has a timber deck that requires ongoing maintenance and we recently completed work to inspect and replace timbers on the structure.
"The deck features anti-slip sheeting which makes identifying defects difficult.
"With that in mind, we recently closed the bridge and lifted all the anti-slip material to perform a thorough inspection.
"The timber condition was found to be poor across the entire bridge and it was deemed unrealistic to make minimal replacements.
"However, the bridge has not been condemned and we do have a renewal of this structure planned for 2023-2024 which will involve any repairs needed to the wrought iron, grit blasting, repainting and replacing the timber deck with a more modern material."
John Bland, chairman of Spalding and District Civic Society, said: "I think it is welcome that Network Rail is planning to undertake some maintenance work on the footbridge and it would be good to see it restored, hopefully to an acceptable standard.
"I hope the anti-slip covering will be replaced for the interim period as this does offer protection to the underlying timbers.
"I also hope that when they undertake the promised maintenance work, Network Rail they will consult with transport heritage groups as to what would be the most appropriate colour.
"In addition, a tidy-up of the land below the bridge would be good when the maintenance work is undertaken."
Roger Smith, of Spalding's bicycle action group Pedals, said: "The footbridge's status as a listed building recognises Spalding's railway heritage.
"However, it reduces the likelihood of it being made 'cycle-friendly' so maybe there is a case for Network Rail to provide a weather-proof and vandal-resistant information panel on or near the footbridge to explain why it has five separate spans when only two tracks pass beneath it today."