Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

‘It’s vital to our appeal’ - Fears over financial impact of footbridge closure

PUBLISHED: 15:06 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 10 October 2018

Sophie and Mark Dorber of The Anchor, Walberswick, fear the bridge closure will cost businesses dearly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sophie and Mark Dorber of The Anchor, Walberswick, fear the bridge closure will cost businesses dearly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Businesses have warned that the continued closure of a footbridge between two of Suffolk’s most popular tourist attractions could cost them a quarter of their earnings.

The bridge has been closed on safety grounds until further notice  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe bridge has been closed on safety grounds until further notice Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The closure of the Southwold and Walberswick Bailey Bridge, which was announced last week over safety fears, has provoked great concern on either side of the River Blyth.

Suffolk Highways said it was working with the community to manage the situation – but could not provide a date for its reopening until an assessment of its condition was completed in the coming weeks.

People living in the area had worried to see public notices warning of the bridge’s closure until April.

Although a Suffolk Highways spokesman said the bridge could open sooner than the date stated, businesses in the region are calling for urgent action.

Mark Dober, who owns the Anchor in Walberswick, said the ongoing closure could cost his business up to a quarter of its earnings.

“All of the businesses here rely on the footbridge,” he said. “It brings people in to Walberswick but it also enables us to promote the wider area to the people who come and stay with is.

“It’s in important arterial link for the region and it’s vital to our appeal.”

Mr Dober said the bridge was also important for people to get to work.

Having attended a recent meeting, at which Suffolk County Council cabinet member Richard Smith discussed financial issues around the bridge repairs, Mr Dober said he was confident the matter was being taken seriously.

“I think Mr Smith understands the full importance of the bridge for the area – but he is limited by the constraints of the budge he has to work within,” Mr Dober added.

“It’s therefore important that the local people keep making the case for this.”

Suffolk Highways sought to minimise the impact of the closure by providing free ferry crossings from Wednesday-Friday last week.

Michael Ladd, who represents Southwold on the town, district and county councils, used some his highways allowance to continue the free ferry service into this week.

He said people were concerned about the closure and he hoped to have more information after a meeting with stakeholders this afternoon.

Suffolk Highways said the bridge would remain closed until further notice.

Rail services on Greater Anglia have effectively received an £80m subsidy over the last year - from Dutch taxpayers.

The Suffolk Show is happening today at Trinity Park in Ipswich, offering 5,000 young people the chance to find out more about the apprenticeships, courses and career pathways on offer in the county.

House prices in Suffolk crept up by 0.4% in August, contributing to a 3.6% rise over the last 12 months.

A 19-year-old man who stole jewellery from the home of a retired Suffolk woman has been sentenced to two years youth detention.

A husband assisted in his wife in taking her own life at their home in Rattlesden in an act of love, an inquest has heard.

A national charity is calling for greater awareness of blindness in East Anglia.

A double murder in the family of Thomas Gainsborough set him on his path to fame, it has been claimed after new research shed light on the early life of the world-renowned artist.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24