We have received encouraging correspondence from our MP regarding the bridge.
He agrees with our concerns about the lengthy delays to the repairs to the Old Gowan Bridge. He writes that he will make contact with The Army Corps of the Royal Engineers and Mechanical Engineers to see if they can present a creative approach to the problem. He also states that he will be writing to the Area Highways and Transport Manager to express his concerns about our village being split in two for such a long time.
See a copy of the letter below.
One of the businesses from the Mill Yard has acted as a representative for other businesses in the area and has emailed the authorities regarding our bridge closure asking for the Staveley Bridge to be prioritised.
Stan Collins has responded highlighting difficulties regarding the gas supply under the footbridge which they are trying to re-route as quickly as they can in order to address the repair of the bridge. Keith Little has encouraged that there is strong pressure from our local authorities to address the bridge.
Please see the correspondence below;
Dear Mr Young,
I am writing to you on behalf of Staveley businesses. Following the recent floods, the road bridge on the Main Street in Staveley has been severely damaged and is unsafe to walk across let alone drive. After recent inspection a new bridge is the most economic option. However, we have been informed that this is likely to take up to one year to rectify. This timescale is not a viable option for our businesses in the village. This will have a detrimental effect on the businesses and therefore our community.
The Mill Yard is located at the heart of this rare Lakeland village. Not only does Staveley have a thriving community, the Mill Yard alone employs over 400 employees through the 40 diverse businesses located on site. Since the bridge closure the village has been split. We urge you to prioritise Staveley and take immediate action to replace the bridge.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Tiffany Solender – firstname.lastname@example.org
POGU – Protect What Matters
She has recieved the following responses:
One of the problems is that the gas main runs under the remains of the footbridge (alongside the Eagle and Child bridge) and these cannot be moved while the gas main is live. National Grid (gas) is working on a major project to reroute the gas main which will be done as soon as possible. I had been concerned that the remains of the footbridge could fall into the river and block its flow causing massive flooding; we now have the risk of fire to contend with as well because such a collapse would rupture the gas main.
I am keeping up to date with the latest developments and pressing for a permanent solution to be delivered at rapidly.
Upper Kent division
Hi Tiffany, thank you for your letter re the defective bridges we are well aware of the difficulty all of the bridge defects, closures are causing our communities and businesses. We are working hard to get decisions on repairs and or replacements and this will form part of our ask to the Government for funding. I can assure you that your locally elected members are continually reminding us of the difficulties faced in the community, we are a very large county with a great many difficulties as you will appreciate, we face further weather related issues in the next few days, which will inevitably cause further damage to our already fragile infrastructure. I will forward your letter onto the area team and ask for a response direct to yourself. I hope this is helpful.
Portfolio holder Highways & Transport
There is a growing concern regarding the repair of the Gowan Old Bridge. An increased number of people are gathering momentum to put pressure on the authorities to prioritise our bridge due to the potential adverse affect that it’s closure will have on the village.
We will be publishing any updates as and when we receive them.