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By Tristan Harris Friday 01 February 2013 Updated: 05/02 00:02
THE FOOTBRIDGE which takes shoppers over the Spadesbourne Brook at the town’s bus station is going to be replaced, Bromsgrove District Council has announced.
The Standard revealed three weeks ago how, although the costings of replacing the walkway had been worked out by the authority, it might not be replaced because bosses were considering whether it was worth the extra expense from the council budget.
Coun Rory Shannon, who represents St John’s, contacted us after receiving complaints from residents about the bridge, which was closed back in November due to safety concerns.
Since we ran that story, he has received more than 30 responses, including one from the Bromsgrove Society.
He said: “This is excellent news, the bridge is a real asset to the town centre.
“It would be sorely missed if it was to disappear. I am glad to hear the council has listened to public views and acted on them.”
Bromsgrove District Council has now agreed to remove the footbridge and replace it as soon as possible.
Work will start on the bridge as soon as the current tender process for a builder is completed.
Coun Rita Dent, who also represents St John’s ward, said: “I am delighted that funds have been found to keep this bridge open, as it has always been a popular short cut into the town centre.”
Coun Mike Webb, responsible for environmental services, said: “As we have a duty of care with public funds, we had to look at all the available options once all the costs were known, including removing it and not replacing it.
“However, as I said recently at the meeting of the full council, it was upsetting that another councillor completed a press release only highlighting its removal, which caused unnecessary worry for residents.”
But Coun Shannon denied there was any scare-mongering and added: “I only brought this issue up because I was concerned that the council thought there was a lack of public interest in the bridge being replaced.
“Most people were unaware that there were several options on the table and were under the misconception that the bridge was just out of service and would be replaced as a matter of course.”
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