Monday, 23 September 2019

Footbridge still not repaired

Footbridge still not repaired

WALKERS are angry that a collapsed footbridge on a public footpath near Henley has still not been repaired.

A section of the path along the River Thames has been closed since the bridge on the western bank near Fawley Court broke in November.

Buckinghamshire County Council, which is responsible for the narrow bridge, was supposed to have installed a new one in June.

It said it was unable to carry out the work at the time because of poor weather and then delayed it until August to avoid a clash with Henley Royal Regatta.

However, a start date has still not been set for the work to begin.

At the beginning of this month the council said it was working to secure vehicle access in order to take in the heavy wooden timbers.

John Huntley, 85, of Swiss Park, Henley, said the footpath should be re-opened regardless of the state of the bridge.

He said: “My objection is that the footpath has been closed. People should be able to go up to the bridge and come back.

“There’s absolutely no bridge and no work going on, which can you see from the Berkshire side of the river.

“The footpath goes over the bridge so it was closed off initially because they considered the bridge was a danger but it’s a right of way.”

Mr Huntley said he missed being able to run on the path or go for walks with his wife Wendy, 80.

“It keeps me healthy and I enjoy looking to see all the swimmers, ducks and everything,” he said.

Rosemary Duckett, of Marlow Road, Henley, said: “It is time the council took the initiative and brought the materials across the river and reinstated the bridge or borrowed a pontoon from Henley Royal Regatta as a temporary measure.

“It has been quite long enough to have this right of way closed.”

Bill Chapple, cabinet member for planning and the environment at the council, said: “We continue to assess a range of options that will allow us to access the land to replace the bridge.

“We are well aware of the inconvenience that this closure has clearly had on the local community and we are hoping to secure a workable solution very soon.”

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