Iron Bridge Rally
by Renee Slater, Photographs by Bob Pitchford
A North Bristol campaign group marked 800 days since a vital and historic footbridge was damaged by a high-sided lorry and closed to pedestrians by Bristol City Council, with a public rally showing how much the bridge is loved.
Kingsweston Iron Bridge is a Grade II listed cast iron structure, built circa 1820 by legendary roads engineer John Loudon McAdam (who gave his name to tarmac). It forms the only safe pedestrian link between the Blaise and Kingsweston estates in north Bristol. It was used daily by hundreds of dog walkers, families, schoolchildren and ramblers until it was struck by a high-sided lorry on 4 November 2015. The bridge was swiftly scaffolded by Bristol City Council and closed to pedestrians. It has now remained closed for over 2 years. This week marks 800 days since the bridge was last open to foot traffic.
The Facebook group Save the iron bridge ‐ Kingsweston frustrated with the Council’s slow pace and poor communication with locals organized the rally on January 14th 2018 to spell out their message to the Council.
The Council’s Bridges Team held a Project meeting on 20 November 2017 and agreed an action plan for repairs to the bridge. In a progress report on the Iron Bridge Cllr Don Alexander wrote:.
“The programme for the action plan would be expected to be completed within this financial year, but I would hope to be in a position in late January/early February …to have the overall design concept resolved and to be able to determine likely cost estimates for these repair and refurbishment works to reinstall this footbridge.
As you can see, there is an immense amount of investigatory work that is now being programmed to enable BCC to come up with a detailed design concept which will hopefully facilitate the raising of the bridge on the existing rock face abutments. The amount the footbridge can be raised, will be determined by the findings of the investigatory works, but we would … try and achieve about 400mm to 500mm. The potential raising of the footbridge is imperative, as the risk of this footbridge being impacted again by a HGV in its current position, would be considered almost certain.”