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Repair footpath or lose tourists, says councillor
URGENT repairs need to be made to an uneven footpath at a visitor hotspot or there could be a “serious and damaging” impact on tourism in Worcester, a councillor fears.
County councillor for St John’s Richard Udall says the pavement on Worcester Bridge is a patchwork quilt of concrete and tarmac and its appearance is “letting us down”.
Bedwardine county councillor Derek Prodger is supporting his colleague and said they were working together on ensuring repairs are made soon.
Worcestershire County Council said it planned to repave the footpaths on both sides of the bridge and hoped to begin the work within the next few months.
Coun Udall said: “The bridge and the views from it are a major tourist attraction for the city.
“Many businesses have worked hard to make Worcester an attractive place to visit and shop, the condition of the bridge is letting us down, people are having to watch their step on uneven footpaths instead of enjoying the view of the cathedral and the riverside.
“South Parade and the riverside walks have made this part of the city an enjoyable and nice place to visit, both visitors and locals enjoy the area.
“These repairs are now overdue and urgent. I am really worried that unless the work takes place soon it will have a serious and damaging impact on tourism in Worcester.
“The county council need to take pride in the bridge and repave the pavements, not with gold but with care.”
Coun Udall has raised his concern with highways bosses and has asked them to ensure work is included early in the next financial year.
It has been revealed that some of the damage to the footpaths was caused by the heavy machinery used by a county council contractor, who will be making a “large” contribution to the repairs.
The council’s highways manager, Jon Fraser, said: “The county council is planning a complete repave of both the north and south footways of the bridge.
“Obviously as this is one of Worcester’s most important historic structures we are taking care to ensure that the repair works will be in accord with the rest of the bridge, and to this end specifications have been agreed with Worcester City Council conservation officers.
“We anticipate being able to commence work within the next few months. The contractor who damaged the footways is making a large contribution towards the costs, with the balance being found from the Worcester Bridge fund. “All existing damaged slabs have been removed and the areas made safe.”