A FOOTBRIDGE which is the missing link in a riverside revamp should be reopened as soon as possible, says a leading councillor.
Derek Prodger, the city and county councillor for Worcester’s Bedwardine ward, says the bridge over Diglis Basin has been ready for use for more than a year after it was renovated by Taylor Wimpey as part of its development in the area.
The walkway completes a circular riverside route which includes the new Diglis Bridge over the Severn, but Coun Prodger is concerned that it is not yet open to the public because of the delay caused by the Diglis Basin crossing.
The bridge belongs to the Canal and River Trust, while the right of way over it is the responsibility of Worcestershire County Council.
The council said it was working with the trust to overcome safety concerns, including putting up ‘cyclists dismount on dock bridge’ signs, to help the reopening process.
A trust spokesman said the hold-up had been caused by work on the bridge needing to adhere to the requirements of a conservation area and ensuring that the railings are safe.
He said a meeting was due to be held on Tuesday to confirm a date for the bridge’s reopening.
Coun Prodger, who was the cabinet member for transport at the time of completion of the Diglis Bridge scheme, has welcomed news of the meeting.
“It’s been like this for a year. I just wanted to know when we’re going to open this bridge for use.
“It’s the bridge to nowhere at the moment. I can’t leave it looking like that any longer. We did all that work for the new Diglis Bridge and this is the missing link. It’s got to be done as soon as possible. The bridge is sitting there, waiting to be used. I’ve not had information from anyone as to why.
“I welcome that there’s a meeting taking place, but I believe that in the public interest this should be done as a matter of urgency.
“Whatever modifications they need to do to make it safe, I accept them, but I think we should act with urgency.”
Ed Dursley, the county’s sustainable schemes manager, said the council shared Coun Prodger’s desire to see the refurbished Diglis Basin bridge open as soon as possible.
“Worcestershire County Council is working to support the Canal and River Trust, which is responsible for the bridge, with advice on the process of getting the bridge reopened as it is an important public footpath and therefore a valuable pedestrian link along the riverside.”