Councillor condemns “dangerous” lack of alternative footpath in St Albans

Sandy Walkington by the Westminster Lodge footbridge

Sandy Walkington by the Westminster Lodge footbridge - Credit: Archant

Complaints have been made about the lack of a safe pathway for pedestrians following the closure of a footbridge in St Albans, forcing people to “dangerously” cross into a busy road.

Holywell Hill footbridge was closed because decaying planks needed repairing - the work started on February 21 but had to stop because of inclement weather conditions and the bridge is still closed.

But no alternative footpath has signposted, which St Albans South county councillor Sandy Walkington says is dangerous, especially for children going to both Westminster Lodge and to nearby Abbey JMI School.

Youngsters have to cross Holywell Hill and back again to get past the closure.

He said: “I fully understand why the bridge had to be closed after a plank was found to be broken and others rotten, and I also accept there is a lead time to source replacement non-slip planks.”

But Cllr Walkington said it was “not good enough” failing to provide a different route.

He added: “It would have been so easy to suspend the neighbouring parking bays, install temporary cones and give pedestrians a safe route beside the bridge during its closure and repair.”

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Herts county council said the footpath will be reopened at the earliest opportunity.

A spokesperson for Ringway, the council’s highways contractor, said: “The footbridge over the river is closed whilst repair works are being undertaken.

“Footpath closed signs are in place either end of the bridge and pedestrians are expected to use the traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossing’s either side of the works to cross the road safely.”