Petition to hurry along repairs on footbridge

Local residents in the Beaconhill Green area of Cramlington have signed a petition to get the council to repair the footbridge over the railway line.
Local residents in the Beaconhill Green area of Cramlington have signed a petition to get the council to repair the footbridge over the railway line.
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ANGRY residents are petitioning Northumberland County Council in a bid to sort out a delay in repairing a vital footbridge.

Beaconhill footbridge in Cramlington, provides a vital link for residents to visit the town centre.

But the council was forced to close the bridge in September after issues with the concrete quality and strength of the structure.

The bridge is owned by Network Rail, who the council are now in talks with to get the necessary work carried how.

But residents living near the bridge have now launched a petition calling on the council to act fast in an effort to get the bridge back into use.

Petitioner Barry Flux said: “For some time residents have been concerned by the quality of the surface, so much so that it was demanded that action was taken.

“To hear that there are issues with the concrete quality and strength of the bridge is extremely worrying. The question must be asked how has the situation been allowed to become so bad?

“Many residents in this area either do not have a car or have mobility issues, and they are being forced to make an extended walk past a busy duel carriageway, often with young children or whilst carrying heavy bags of shopping.

“The county council cannot even give residents an estimate of when this bridge will reopen.

“Beaconhill residents deserve answers from the council. This situation needs to be rectified quickly to ensure this important access point is reopened and that the safety of residents can be ensured.

“I am sure they would if this was a major road, they should be doing the same for this bridge, and 400 residents who live here clearly agree.”

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: “Network Rail has an 18-week planning period for work to be carried out on the east coast main line because it involves the closure of the line for a period and the turning off of the power.

“This means the work has been booked in for the beginning of February.

“We are keen to repair the bridge as soon as possible but we have to comply with Network Rail’s scheduling.”