Call for action on crumbling bridge at train station

The footbridge at Havant railway station
The footbridge at Havant railway station
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CALLS have been made for a new footbridge over the railway at Havant as scaffolding goes up to support the ageing structure.

The footbridge at the western end of the train station is used by hundreds of people every day as they travel from one part of the town centre to another.

But the walkway is in such bad condition that Hampshire County Council is being forced to erect scaffolding under the beams.

The steelwork has corroded significantly.

Tony Briggs, the leader of Havant Borough Council, said it was time for a new modern footbridge as it is a vital step in regenerating the town.

Cllr Briggs said: ‘The county council two years ago had a plan to put a new footbridge and it has withdrawn that funding.

‘Quite frankly I am not surprised that the present footbridge is deemed to be unsafe and in need of some remedial work.

‘As far as long-term, it has always been this council’s aspiration for that bridge to be replaced with a modern bridge which then links the public service village and the college directly with the northern part of Havant town. We should have a design ready to go and we should be looking at developers’ contributions from both sides of the railway to help finance that.’

Councillor Mel Kendal, in charge of transport at the county council, said: ‘I want to reassure people that the footbridge is safe to use but it is in need of urgent attention.

‘This will give time for thorough investigation of the most appropriate permanent solution.

‘I am sure Havant residents will understand this is not a quick-fix matter and bear with us while we complete this essential work.’

Work to put up the scaffolding starts on February 27 and will take council workers four weeks.