Suffolk bridge vandalised again
POLICE are viewing CCTV footage after vandals have struck again at a town's new £2.4m bridge.The latest attack of Sudbury's showpiece Ballingdon Bridge, which provides a link between Suffolk and Essex across the River Stour, is expected to cost several thousands of pounds to repair.
POLICE are viewing CCTV footage after vandals have struck again at a town's new £2.4m bridge.
The latest attack of Sudbury's showpiece Ballingdon Bridge, which provides a link between Suffolk and Essex across the River Stour, is expected to cost several thousands of pounds to repair.
It is the latest of several attacks on the bridge since it was opened last July and town councillors are now calling for action to stop the problems.
At the centre of the criminal damage is the sophisticated bollard lighting system, which illuminates the structure at night.
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Mindless yobs have constantly gone along the bridge smashing the lights and knocking off aluminium cap fittings that seal the bollards.
Just weeks after the bridge was opened it was thrown into darkness when Suffolk County Council road chiefs were forced to pull the plug on its power.
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It spent three months making alterations to the design of the lighting system and undertaking strengthening work to make the bridge more vandal proof.
The work cost £3,000 and the energy supply had to be cut as a safety precaution because the removal of the cap fittings left potentially dangerous electrical contacts exposed.
Despite the redesign work the county council will now been forced to spend thousands more on repair work after thugs smashed another eight lights on the bridge.
On Sunday, November 9, two vandals walked along the bridge from the town centre and starting kicking and smashing the lights, leaving eight of them badly damaged.
Town mayor John Sayers, who officially opened the bridge in July, has questioned the initial design of the bridge.
He said: “I don't think this is acceptable, as far as I am concerned when I opened this bridge it should have been complete. To formally open a bridge that is not in a state of perfection is not right.”
County bridge manager Nigel Burrows said: “We have reported the latest incident to the police and we a working with them to try and find those responsible.
“We are still assessing the full extent of the damage, but were are very frustrated and disappointed
Sudbury police are now studying CCTV footage of the latest attack on the bridge and are appealing for anyone with any information to call Pc Liz Jones on 01284 774300 or Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555111.