In your letters page last week appeared two letters regarding the ‘Bumpy Bridge’, one from Laurie Page, St Wilfrids Road, the other from a Labour Town Councillor, who should know better to research his topics rather than jump on the latest band wagon to come along.
Most of your readers will probably think Laurie Page has it right and Cllr Andrews has it completely wrong.Regarding Cllr Andrews getting it wrong, if he had asked his council staff they would have at least been able to tell him some of the history about trying to retain the bridge over the last 30 -40 years, it is a long story. Around half of the cost to replace the ‘Bumpy Bridge’ leading from Junction Road to the narrow residential St Wilfreds Road on the other side of the railway, around £600,000, is being funded by developers’ contributions. The rest is being found by the utility companies whose services pass over the railway line in or on the ‘Bumpy Bridge’. It was a marginal decision by the utility companies to part fund the replacement. They could have almost as easily taken their services networks around the two remaining crossings at either Worlds End or via the Burgess Hill Station crossing.
In defence of my former Lib Dem County Council colleagues. It took years and a lot of pressure from them to get any sort of replacement bridge on the table. Network Rail’s preferred option was a gantry to take the services from one side to the other. The community, children, parents walking their families, or just going shopping, as well as those without transport or mobility problems were to go around either the top of the town via Junction Road or down and along Leylands Road and up (probably) Noel Rise and St Wilfrids Road. Nice trip if you have the time and energy. Regarding the Tory replacement councillors at County Hall, which was the majority of residents preferred option at the time to elect, they probably did get a briefing from officers and realised the work of their Lib Dem predecessors was pretty good and under the tight constraints of space and the public purse (your council tax) the proposed replacement bridge is a good, well thought through, project. Hopefully it will be put in place this coming autumn. To delay this with ‘late to the table’ half thought through ideas would be a disaster for all the pedestrian users who rely on the bridge to make their journeys possible.
Lib Dem District Cllr Graham Knight, St Andrews Ward, Burgess Hill