Lincolnshire Highways officials will install safety barriers while Spalding footbridge is closed
Highways officials have promised to install safety barriers to stop people walking on a railway line when a Spalding footbridge is closed.
Walkers and cyclists have hit out after learning that Two Plank Bridge will be shut for more than a year while it is replaced with a wider 16 tonne bridge.
The wooden bridge will be closed from Saturday, July 17, until winter 2022, as part of the construction work of the Spalding Western Relief Road.
Concerns have been raised about the length of the closure and people walking on the nearby railway link but Highways say they need to protect the public’s safety.
Coun Liz Sneath, who represents Spalding Elloe ward on the county council, said that a new wider bridge is needed as the current structure is not suitable for cyclists and pedestrians.
She said: “The issue is the length of time and I understand the county council’s view that for residents’ safety that they are going to have to kept away from the major construction.
“Balancing that we got to have a new bridge.
“I know how unpopular it is and I am sad that people are disappointed but I am hoping we can work towards quicker completion date.”
News of the closure has created some anger among people who use the bridge.
Amanda Baggott commenting on our Facebook page said: “The fear will be that people will be trespassing on the railway bridge/line to get across the water to/from Pinchbeck and then across the farmers’ fields.”
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “The footpath at Two Plank Bridge will be closed for an extended period to ensure the safety of everyone that uses it. This is while we replace the old wooden bridge and carry out large-scale engineering works along the path as part of the relief road project. These works include digging out thousands of tonnes of earth, building a new 20-foot high embankment, installing over a half mile of new drainage, and diverting gas pipes and underground cables.
“Closing this busy pedestrian route for over a year will no doubt cause some disruption, but it ensures the health and safety of everyone regularly using it. And in the end, people in and around Pinchbeck and Spalding will have a new bridge and improved footpath once the project is finished.
“To ensure the safety of those using the diversion route that will be in place, we’ll be installing additional barriers to prevent people walking on the rail line.”