Bridge demolition plans are opposed

Borough Road Footbridge in North Shields. Picture by Graham Robson,
Borough Road Footbridge in North Shields. Picture by Graham Robson,

North Shields residents have launched a petition opposing the proposal demolition of a historic footbridge.

A dozen residents of Waldo Street and the surrounding area are objecting to plans to remove the Borough Road bridge.

North Tyneside Council says the bridge, which runs between Tennyson Terrace and Waldo Street, is nearing the end of its lifespan and is in a poor state of repair.

There have also been anti-social behaviour incidents relating to the site, including reports of items being thrown from the bridge onto vehicles below.

In a letter sent to residents, the authority states: ‘North Tyneside Council, working with its partner Capita, has assessed that the best option is to remove the bridge.

‘This would remove significant future costs to maintain and replace the bridge as well as help to reduce localised anti-social behaviour.’

Drop-in sessions were held last month to let residents have their say.

Jay Smith, one of the petitioners, said: “We believe that the bridge has a historical place on the road and is also aesthetically pleasing.

“The bridge is a convenient way of adjoining the two sides of the road without forcing the many dog walkers and families with prams to cross the road lower down.

“Anti-social behaviour is unfortunate; however we don’t believe demolishing the bridge is the solution to this.Anti-social behaviour is a deep rooted issue and demolishing current structures of historic significance is not a long-term measure to reducing this.

“If anything needs to be addressed in the area, it is the derelict garages directly in front of Waldo Street, which also attract anti-social behaviour.”

He has asked for details of the difference in cost between demolishing the bridge and repairing it.

In response, the council’s structures team estimates: ‘The cost difference between demolition only and major works to repair the bridge would be between the values of £230,000 – £360,000 NPV based on a 40-year Net Present Value and option undertaken at the end of this period.’