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Fears over safety of Bungay footbridge

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 May 2015

Bungay Mill Bridge. Broads Authority and Bungay Town Council deny ownership and refuse to repair it.

Bungay Mill Bridge. Broads Authority and Bungay Town Council deny ownership and refuse to repair it.

© Archant 2015

Calls have been made for urgent repairs to be carried out on a footbridge in Bungay which residents living nearby say is a danger to the public.

Bungay Mill Bridge. Broads Authority and Bungay Town Council deny ownership and refuse to repair it.Bungay Mill Bridge. Broads Authority and Bungay Town Council deny ownership and refuse to repair it.

Tim Child, who lives at the Watermill in Bungay, said it was a matter of imminent public safety and has contacted the police, Broads Authority and Bungay Town Council in a bid to get the nearby Bungay Mill footbridge repaired.

He said: “At this time of the year we see large conducted groups of mainly elderly walkers following the Bigod Way route and they often divert along it.

“Approaching from the Watermill end it’s hard to see the bridge is damaged, and if five or six people crossed at the same time, it’s likely to bring it down.”

The land, which forms part of the bridge, was sold at auction last year and it now belongs to a private owner.

The bridge is believed to have been built around 2004 but part of it has collapsed and it puts at risk those who cross it, Mr Child said.

Bungay town clerk Peter Morrow said: “The town council is aware of the issue and has attempted to contact the new land owner.

“In the past, the approach to the bridge has been blocked off by the landowners but those wanting to get past have just removed the barriers.

“We have been in touch with Waveney District Council which is responsible for unsafe structures.

“Obviously we are concerned about the bridge from a safety point of view which is why we have done everything we can to get the matter resolved.”

A Waveney spokesman said council officers had inspected the bridge in March and again this month and while it was clearly in need of repair, since it was privately owned, it was the responsibility of the owner.

The spokesman added: “The bridge does look to be in poor condition however it is structurally intact and unlikely to collapse, unless encouraged.

“On several occasions, fencing and barrier tape has been erected to prevent access to the bridge however this was removed by members of the public.

“Council officers are working to contact the owner to encourage maintenance and prevent further deterioration.

“Should the bridge become dangerous, action will be taken to ensure it is returned to a safe condition.”

•Have you used the bridge? Do you think it is dangerous? Email bbj.letters@archant.co.uk or write to Beccles and Bungay Journal Letters, 20 Blyburgate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9TB including your full name and address.

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