Extra minutes not an inconvenience

It was with great interest I read the letter from Charles Hall (News Guardian, July 17) regarding the length of time the footbridge will be closed for replacement.

I can’t help but wonder if Mr Hall has taken all of the factors into consideration.

Firstly I’m sure Nexus will have taken into account the people who use the bridge other than those going over it.

That would be the people who go under it every day on the Metro.

I’m sure that most people will be aware that to replace the bridge will involve shutting the Metro line for a period of time.

So as to minimize inconvenience to all parties, I am sure that these closures will occur on a Sunday.

I’m also sure that in consideration of the local residents that the work will be carried out throughout the day as opposed to night-time work.

In order to carry out the work in the two weeks, the line closure would have to be for several days, no doubt, creating much disruption to the many hundreds of passengers travelling to work through the week.

Also, it would be very costly to Nexus for it would have to provide replacement bus services on a much greater scale than on a Sunday, as well as the staff to man the closed stations to field off the onslaught of questions from passengers.

I have also noted that the work has already begun.

So it would appear that Nexus have carried out as much work as they safely can before closing the bridge so as to minimize the length of time it is closed.

Out of interest I went down to the bridge and walked from the bottom of the stairs on the Marmion side to the exit from the stairs on the Norham Road side and back again.

This took me a little under seven minutes in both directions.

Now I was walking with no great purpose and in no particular hurry, so it is safe to say that for someone fit and healthy in a rush to work they can take a couple minutes off this time.

It is also safe to say that for the less abled, and slower walkers among us, you can add a minute or two to the journey.

All in all, I’m sure that Nexus has done its best to minimize the disruption to all travellers, both on foot and on train. I’m also sure they have done what they can to minimize the costs.

This bridge needs replacing and if six weeks is what it takes then six weeks is what I myself am prepared to put up with.

After all, an extra seven minutes to my journey isn’t the biggest of inconveniences.

Thomas Craven

Whitley Bay