THE closure of a well-used motorway footbridge has led to complaints from residents.
The Bude Close footbridge over the M27 in Paulsgrove, which connects Falmouth Road and Hillsley Road, will be blocked off for eight weeks.
Work is being carried out by the Highways Agency to replace the old concrete bridge deck with a new steel one.
But some people have said the closure, which was due to begin on February 4 but was postponed due to bad weather, forces them to make a much longer journey.
The work has resulted in overnight motorway closures, including for the next three Saturdays from 9am to 9pm, as the bridge is dismantled and replaced.
Bernard Worrall, 83, of Falmouth Road, said he thought the planned closure would cause more disruption than was necessary.
‘It gives some youngsters a long trek to get to school,’ he said. ‘And it seems like they’re taking their time – I don’t see why the bad weather should make a difference.
‘It gives me a lot further to walk to the shop and I’ve got asbestosis so walking long distances leaves me feeling very out of breath.’
Sally Robinson, of Hillsley Road, said she was worried about children who might have to pass through the nearby underpass.
She said: ‘I dread to think of youngsters walking down there when it’s dark, or at any time really. I hope they hurry up and finish it soon.’
Ward councillor David Horne said he hadn’t yet received any complaints about the closure.
‘It’s a well-used route for people living in the area when going to the shops,’ he said.
‘The closure is going to cause some disruptions, but people will have to be patient.
‘We campaigned long and hard for that footbridge, and for it to be covered and lit, so it’s important it’s well-maintained.’
Steve Cobb, Highways Agency structures manager said: ‘The existing concrete bridge deck has reached the end of its serviceable life, so we’re replacing it with a new steel footbridge that will last for decades to come. We’ve planned the work carefully to keep delays to a minimum for road users and local people alike.’
More information about the other motorway closures will be announced as work continues. Anyone with questions can call the Highways Agency on 0300 123 5000 or visit highways.gov.uk.