Two bridges across a short stretch of waterway in Grimsby will be fully maintained by North East Lincolnshire Council – with plans to renew one of them in the coming years.
However, the authority has confirmed that the removal of a third walkway, which ran over a stretch of New Cut Drain, will be permanent. This bridge, behind St Nicholas Drive, was not part of the official footpath network and was closed earlier this summer on safety grounds following substantial vandalism.
After a full assessment, it has been decided that the two remaining bridges, which are just 500mts apart, are sufficient for people to cross over. The council is committed to ensuring that one of those will have maintenance work carried out on it in the coming weeks and will be due for full replacement in the years ahead.
The other (pictured below) was replaced in 2021 with £15,000 invested into strong oak boarding to ensure it was resilient to both the weather and vandals. It is sturdy enough to carry both walkers, cyclists, and mobility scooters.
Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Cllr Stewart Swinburn confirmed the council’s position:
“When we assess required works with the Environmental Services Team, we must balance what is needed across the whole of North East Lincolnshire, investing our resources into those areas of greatest need,” he said.
“We must also consider the use of our pathways, parks and open spaces. There are more than 155,000 people living in the borough and the majority, at some point, will walk through a park, sit on a bench in a public area or walk on our pathways and in our green spaces. We must consider where our priorities sit when we look at the movement of our residents in our open spaces.
“The above means there is a constant need to review urgent works, which is often a result of misuse or vandalism, whilst looking at new projects that will encourage young people and families to get out and about and connected to nature,” added Cllr Swinburn.
As reported, following vandalism earlier this summer the now permanently removed bridge had been damaged to the point it was unsafe and had to be closed for Health & Safety reasons to protect the public. The decision was then taken to make this permanent.
“Whilst we do realise that this may mean a slightly longer walk for some, keeping the two structures over New Cut Drain is sufficient – given their use and the distances between them. I am sure the majority of residents across North East Lincolnshire will understand the reasons for this decision,” he added.
What the Council’s Environmental Services Team does:
- North East Lincolnshire Council maintains 2,938,000 square metres of verge and amenity grass cutting including sports fields, country parks and open spaces. This equates to around 374 Blundell Parks or 73,450 average sized gardens;
- Highway weed kill spraying for each road and street in the borough adds up to 3,000 miles in total;
- There is 162 miles of rural verge cutting at a 1m width, including sight lines;
- The authority looks after eight ‘Destination Parks’: People’s Park, Weelsby Woods, Duke of York Gardens, Sidney Sussex, Haverstoe, Pilgrim, and Grant Thorold;
- It inspects and maintains more than 40 council managed play areas including all equipment;
- There is maintenance of more than 500,000 trees on highways, within parks, woods, open spaces and cemeteries – along with hedgerow maintenance;
- In addition, there are ward-based activities such as strimming, shrub pruning and seasonal bed planting, and winter maintenance programmes;
- Service Level Agreements with local academies and Colleges are carried out;
- There is also repair and maintenance to ward based areas and open spaces, such as the Boating Lake and Cleethorpes foreshore, and the resort;
- Line marking takes place for football, and summer sports markings.
Article and images from NELC.