Council pressed on the future of Victoria Bridge

Bath and North East Somerset Council is to be pressed on what action it is taking to restore Bath’s historic Victoria Bridge and bring it back into use for pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge was closed last year after engineers found defects in the structure. It is one of the earliest examples of a wrought iron suspension bridge in Britain and provides an important link for pedestrians and cyclist across the River Avon, including to the Western Riverside development.

Conservative Councillors, who before the local elections pledged to fully restore the bridge to its former glory, are pressing the Liberal Democrat Cabinet on when the Council will start work on reopening the bridge. In a question tabled for next week’s public Cabinet meeting, Conservatives have also asked if plans for a temporary ‘Bailey Bridge’ alongside Victoria Bridge whilst the bridge is closed may still go ahead.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Lansdown), the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said:

“Bath’s historic Victoria Bridge has now been closed for almost a year, causing continued disruption to walkers and cyclists who have previously relied upon the bridge on a daily basis. With construction underway on the first phase of new homes at Western Riverside, it is more important than ever for the Council to get to work on bringing this bridge back into use.

“Fully restoring the bridge may take some time, but it’s increasingly worrying that the Lib Dem Cabinet has still not published any plans or timescale for bringing the bridge back into use, or progress the possibility of erecting a temporary bridge whilst repair work takes place. This is something the Council should look into urgently, and I hope we will be reassured that action will be taken soon.”