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Doubts raised on fresh promises to remove bridge abandoned for three years

 

Doubts have been raised on fresh promises from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to remove a bridge abandoned for three years.

Cross Common bridge in Dinas Powys was closed off to drivers in February 2017, after a new access road was built and the safety of the old bridge was questioned.

The council abandoned the bridge and put up red and white plastic barriers to stop traffic driving over it.

In August last year, the council promised to begin the work to remove the bridge that October — after delays in finding a specialist contractor.

Now, with the bridge still there a year later, Plaid Cymru community councillors are demanding the council act, and either remove the bridge or turn it into a footpath and clear the debris and plastic barriers.

Cllr Chris Franks said: “For three years, the Vale has said this bridge has got to go. If they’re going to do it, they’ve got to get on with it. These ugly barriers are so frustrating, and thousands of people see it.

“They did some excavations and just left the spoil heap. It’s a vast improvement now, but even cleaned up it’s still a mess.”

Jean Webber, who lives nearby on Llwyn Derwen, said she has witnessed a lot of fly-tippers dumping rubbish at the bridge, like fridges, freezers and builders’ rubbish. She said: “I think this end of Dinas has been forgotten. [The council] seems to concentrate on the other end.

“I walk past here every day. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just walled it off. I never complain, but this is just appalling.”

The council has now promised work will begin to remove the bridge next month, and blamed coronavirus for the most recent delay. The new timetable is to finish the job by this October.

A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, the contractor originally appointed to remove the bridge withdrew from the project after agreement couldn’t be reached on a claim for additional costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“That meant a new contractor had to be found, a process that added to the delay caused by the pandemic itself, which for a period prevented work of this type being carried out.

“The council has now successfully appointed a new contractor and received an indication that work is expected to start in mid-August. It is anticipated the work will be completed by the end of October.”

But both Cllr Franks and Ms Webber raised doubts about the new timetable. Cllr Franks said: “We are always told it will start in six to eight weeks.”

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