Pressure is growing on Lancashire County Council to repair and reopen a key bridge across the Ribble.Advertisement
The Old Tram Bridge crosses the boundary from Preston City Council to South Ribble Borough Council land.
But it was closed last week due to safety concerns after a structural survey.
A popular walking, running and cycling route its used by many to commute in and out of the city each day – as well as for leisure purposes.
Michael Nye has created a petition calling on the county council to act to ‘restore and reopen the iconic river crossing’.
Read more: Old Tram Bridge barriers are reinforced
More than 1,500 people have signed the petition on the 38 Degrees website.
Michael said: “The tramroad bridge is an important pedestrian and cycle route into Preston. It is well used, providing a link to the footpath network based around the old railways and the Lancaster Canal tramroad.
“Many people have fond memories of the bridge, which has evolved from its original purpose as part of the canal, to being the much loved strucutre that it is today.
“Given that walking and cycling to work are far greener than using a car or even public transport, it would be foolhardy to remove this vital link in the network of pathways to the south of Preston.”
The county council has been closely monitoring the condition of the Old Tram Bridge in recent years as maintenance issues have emerged, with some work being carried out to manage them.
However, the age of the bridge and the nature of the problems meant that it would eventually need to be replaced with a new one.
County councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I’m sorry we’ve had to close the Old Tram Bridge, however this is our only option after the recent inspection raised concerns about its safety.
“The original bridge was built in 1802, however it has been completely re-built in the 20th Century. The current bridge piers which are made of reinforced concrete date to the 1930s, and the pre-stressed concrete deck dates to the 1960s.
“These elements have reached a point where they need to be replaced.
Will you be signing the petition? What do you think about the closure? Let us know in the comments below