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Footbridge removed over safety fears
4:45pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
A FOOTBRIDGE damaged by flooding has been removed after walkers ignored safety warnings and continued to use it.
The bridge over Old Durham Beck, a tributary of the River Wear in Durham City, has been closed for more than a year after flooding caused erosion on the riverbanks.
Durham County Council says it had hoped that the bridge could reopen after repair work, but a recent inspection had revealed that further erosion had occurred and, with people still attempting to use the bridge despite it being closed, it was decided that it was necessary to remove it to ensure public safety.
The bridge crossed the stream between Pelaw Wood and the playing fields. Walkers wishing to cross Old Durham Beck are now advised to use the nearby Kingfisher Bridge as an alternative.
Notices are already in place in the area advising of footpath closures following a landslip at Pelaw Wood. These notices are being updated to include information about the removal of the bridge.
The council is also looking at possible alternative sites to reinstate the bridge and is in discussions with local landowners.
Highways manager Brian Buckley said: "We have had to remove the bridge to protect the safety of the public as the erosion of the banks had left the bridge in a dangerous condition.
"We recognise the importance of this public footpath and are committed to finding a sustainable long-term solution which will enable us to reinstate this crossing of Old Durham Beck."
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