Havant councillor hits out at Hampshire County Council for inaction over town's railway footbridge

A borough councillor has hit out against Hampshire County Council for a ‘lack of responsiveness' over the degrading Havant railway footbridge.

By Toby Paine
Monday, 27th June 2022, 7:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 11:04 am

The bride is owned by the county council and has been described as an 'eyesore' for over a decade.

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The footbridge over railway line at Havant Station

Havant borough councillor Phillip Munday, member for St Faith’s ward said: ‘Unfortunately, this is a story of kicking a problem into the long grass till it rusts away.

‘Funding was due to be approved for a replacement bridge in 2008 but was pulled due to the economic downtown.

‘Later, because of safety concerns, the bridge was supported by scaffolding which had a planned life of five years. Thirteen years later the scaffolding is still in place.

Residents expressed safety concerns during my campaign and one of the team contacted HCC regarding a safety inspection.

‘A complete muddle followed with HCC denying it was their responsibility but eventually they agreed that it was.

‘The safety check was recently undertaken. Following this the North East section was found to be unsafe and is now closed.

‘I have deep concerns about HCC procedures and lack of responsiveness. This bridge is a vital link between north and central Havant and an essential part of any regeneration of Havant Town centre.’

Cllr Tim Pike previously stated that the county council is submitting a bid to central government to have the footbridge replaced - as part of the Levelling Up fund.

Councillor Edward Heron, the county council’s executive lead member for transport and environment strategy, said: ‘We recognise that the footbridge is very important to pedestrians and cyclists for local access, and I can confirm that repairs are scheduled to take place in the autumn to address areas of corrosion under the ramps.

‘The proposed measures will ensure that pedestrians can continue to cross the railway safely via the footbridge. I would like to reassure residents that we are continuing to work with Havant Borough Council to explore opportunities for replacing the bridge, including securing government funding to this end. In the meantime, our engineers will continue to monitor the condition of the bridge and take action as needed.’