Petition for bridge to reopen reaches 3,000 signatures

Old Tramroad Bridge closed. Photo credit: Somandeep Kaur Kandola

A petition to reopen the Old Tramroad Bridge in Avenham Park, Preston, has gained 3,000 signatures in six days.

The footbridge is a popular route with pedestrians and cyclists which connects Preston with the neighbouring district of South Ribble.

It was closed due to fears of collapse and Lancashire County Council has been closely monitoring the condition of the bridge.

Petition founder, Michael Nye, from Penwortham, and many supporters want to work with the council to get the bridge reopened.

Michael set up a Facebook page, “Friends of the Old Tramroad Bridge”, last week and it has over 800 members, including a bridge repairer and builder.

He said: “The bridge is important to a lot of people.

“We want it open.

“We don’t think it’s going to fall down.

“However, if it does go, we want a date for it being replaced, we don’t want it to just be closed indefinitely.”

Michael Nye, petition founder. Photo credit: Somandeep Kaur Kandola

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, is waiting for an engineer’s report on the condition of the bridge.

A decision, based on the cost, will be made by the cabinet, however supporters may be waiting until the end of the month to hear a decision.

Keith said: “I’m always open for any members of the public to work with the council and it’s great that they’ve involved and engaged with it and obviously we’ll listen to all their views.

“But at the end of the day, people have to appreciate that we are in the times of austerity.

“The council has had a huge debt to pay off and we’ve got to balance everything.

“The last thing I want is anybody to be injured on that bridge and the closure will stay in place until we know what is happening.”