The state of the railway footbridge at Havant station is a disgrace to the town.
A large section (pictured, right) has recently been closed for safety reasons.
Alarmingly, it appears that there had been no safety inspection of the bridge for well over a decade, and the recent inspection that resulted in the partial closure of the bridge was only carried out because a concerned resident insisted on it.
Phil Munday says
“This is a story of ‘kicking a problem into the long grass till it rusts away!’
The bridge has long been an eyesore and an embarrassment.
Funding was approved for a replacement bridge as long ago as 2008, but it was then pulled to save money during the downturn.
Instead, the decaying structure was shored up by scaffolding, with a planned life of five years.
Fourteen years later the scaffolding is still in place!
Residents expressed safety concerns to me during my election campaign this year, and one of my team contacted Hampshire County Council to request a safety inspection.
A complete muddle followed.
Initially Hampshire and Havant councils fought between themselves, each insisting that it was the other’s responsibility.
Eventually they decided that it was after all down to Hampshire, who then undertook the safety check.
The inspection showed that the ramp down to the Northern station entrance was unsafe, and it was immediately closed off.
I have deep concerns about the failures of HCC’s procedures and their lack of responsiveness.
This bridge is a vital link between North and central Havant, and an essential part of any regeneration of Havant Town centre.
Its replacement must be an absolute priority.”
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