Exmouth footbridge set to be replaced – 10 months after irreparable damage from tree fall

The footbridge between Springfield Road and Burnside. Picture: East Devon District Council

The footbridge between Springfield Road and Burnside. Picture: East Devon District Council - Credit: East Devon District Council

A public footbridge used by parents getting their children to and from school will be replaced this week, the district council has confirmed.

The bridge which connects Springfield Road and Burnside was damaged in November when a privately-owned tree fell on it and Devon County Council inspectors said it was ‘beyond repair’.

Plans to replace the bridge, owned by East Devon District Council, have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the contractor having to furlough staff.

But 10 months later, the bridge is finally set to be replaced on Friday (September 4) - weather permitting.

The bridge was used by parents of pupils from Withycombe Raleigh Primary School but EDDC said it will not be open in time for the start of the new term.

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Burnside resident Marcus Duran raised concerns about the delay, warning that parents may park in his road which is already ‘chock-a-block’ with cars.

He said the bridge is also well-used by elderly residents in Burnside catching the bus and the increased traffic will have an impact on the air pollution in the area.

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A spokesman for EDDC said: “The footbridge is owned by East Devon District Council and will be replaced – weather permitting – on Friday September 4.

“The bridge was damaged in November 2019, when a large privately owned tree fell on the structure.

“Devon County Council’s bridge inspectors said that the bridge was damaged beyond repair and structurally unsafe.

“Now the work is back on track and a new replacement bridge has been designed, fabricated and is to be installed by crane on September 4 and will reopen soon after.

“Given the secluded location, much planning has gone into the installation of the bridge, and the council has been granted a period for a limited road closure.

“Unfortunately, the bridge will not be open quite in time for the start of the new school term, however there are alternate pedestrian friendly routes either to the East or West with pavements and public footpaths which link up either side of the bridge.

“We apologise for the delays but unfortunately some of the issues for a replacement were out of the council’s control.”

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