“Waste of money” canal bridge plan ditched after protests

By Gareth Dennison | 12/01/2018

“Waste of money” canal bridge plan ditched after protests
An artist's impression of the footbridge

A PROPOSED £500,000 canal crossing has been ditched by council bosses after proving a bridge too far with the public.

Rotherham Borough Council drew up plans for the footbridge, which would have been about five yards south of the existing road bridge.

The authority had said the development would improve access for cyclists and stop pedestrians walking in the road.

But readers called the bridge “outrageous”, “needless” and “a waste of money” after the Advertiser revealed the proposal in September.

Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “There was a practical issue with the bridge, which was around the timetable for spending the money from the Department for Transport.

“Also, it wasn’t the best received idea and we can understand why people responded in the way that they did.

“We are still keen to improve access to the town centre from the railway station but this wasn’t the right project at this time.”

Opposition leader Cllr Allen Cowles said: “I am pleased that the authority has had the good sense in this instance to listen to the public. That is not always the case.”

Funding was part of a £1 million pot from the DfT, which is also funding works at the bottom of Corporation Street.

But the portion of the cash set aside for the steel footbridge will now be returned to Government.

Damien Wilson, the council’s regeneration and environment director, said: “The proposed footbridge adjacent to the station, which was to be funded by a Department for Transport grant, will not be proceeding in the foreseeable future. 

“The council will continue to explore other funding streams and opportunities to improve the gateway to the town centre. 

“The funding grant that would have been utilised will remain with the DfT so will not benefit Rotherham.”

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