I met Tony Arbour and three TfL representatives at the A316 footbridge yesterday and can report the following:
* The bridge is 30 years old and one of four similar ‘temporary’ structures on this stretch of the A316.
* It is inspected every six years, the last time being last summer.
* As a result of concerns raised at the last inspection, a more detailed investigation was carried out in September last year, which it passed.
* TfL acknowledges the bridge is in poor condition, but believes it is structurally safe.
* TfL says the greatest risk to structure is traffic impact to piers. However, as the speed limit is below 50 mph, crash protection to the piers is in theory not required, but TfL will reconsider this.
* The bridge is scheduled to be removed and refurbished in 2009/10 i.e. within the next 12 months.
* This involves removing it for a period of around six weeks, shot-blasting, repainting and redecking – this has just been completed for the crossing at Hospital Bridge Road.
* During the refurbishment, the pedestrian crossing lights at the roundabout will be re-phased to provide longer crossing times, at least during morning and afternoon.
* The telephone number on the bridge for reporting defects has now been redirected so it gets answered.
I confirm I am satisfied with the above arrangements and thank Tony for making the arrangements. Tony — the only additional thing to push TfL on is to try to ensure the work is undertaken this summer during the school holidays.
— from Simon Fullalove, NSMRA