Work finally begins to repair eyesore bridge in Havant

The footbridge at Havant railway station
The footbridge at Havant railway station
  • But locals say town deserves a new bridge
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AN EYESORE bridge used by hundreds of people every day will close for urgent repairs.

People have been concerned there could be a serious accident as the footbridge at Havant railway station has been in such bad repair.

The roof on the 40-year-old bridge is falling apart and people were concerned that a gust of wind could blow parts of it on to the tracks below.

Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council are now teaming up to repair the bridge. But some people are hoping a new bridge will finally get built.

Five years ago £500,000 was set aside for the work in the county council’s capital budget, but financial constraints led to it being taken out and nothing has happened since.

Former county councillor Ann Buckley, who lives in Havant, said: ‘I very much welcome work starting to replace the roof, but this has been an appalling journey getting the work done.

‘I was told in 2012 that there was funding available, but the county council didn’t seem to see the real urgency of pressing Network Rail to get all the consents needed to do the work. Guttering tied up with string was suspended for years over the track to Portsmouth.’

Closures of the footbridge begin from next Monday.

Council officials said pedestrians should allow extra time for their journey.

From Monday, the north east ramp to Leigh Road will be closed.

The north west ramp, at Elmleigh Road, and the remainder of the bridge will be kept open.

From November 23, the north east ramp will be re-opened and the north west ramp will be closed.

From November 30, all ramps will be closed and a diversion route over Park Road North will be in place.

The bridge will be re-opened from December 7. The final closure takes place on January 12 and 13.

Councillor Michael Cheshire, leader of Havant Borough Council, said: ‘We have scheduled the works to replace the roof to ensure the least amount of disruption for pedestrians over the coming weeks.’

He said the authority would continue to press for a new bridge to replace what he called an ‘eyesore’.

‘Wherever we can get the money from, we will,’ he said.