New hope for second bridge to Walney island
Last updated at 15:12, Tuesday, 03 November 2009
COUNCIL chiefs have promised to consider the views of thousands of people calling for a second bridge between Barrow and Walney.
The century-old Jubilee Bridge is the only way to reach the island by car.
For years residents have asked for another crossing to reduce the pressure on the existing bridge, but their appeals have been unsuccessful.
Now the leader of Cumbria County Council has been presented with a 3,000-signature petition calling for a second bridge.
Councillor Jim Buchanan said: “We are aware people in Walney are keen for us to investigate the possibility of creating a second road bridge to link Walney to the Barrow mainland.
“We are happy to receive this petition and will give it full consideration.”
Cllr Buchanan was presented with the petition by Conservative Barrow borough councillors, including South Walney councillors, Alan Pemberton, Ollie Flitcroft and David Marcus.
They say Jubilee Bridge cannot cope with modern traffic and emergency vehicles heading to the island could be delayed.
Cllr Pemberton said: “I think it is wanted by nearly everyone on Walney. I’ve never found it easier to get a consensus. It was very high on everyone’s list of priorities.”
Cllr Flitcroft said: “We went and spoke to people and they were saying: ‘We need a second bridge, we need a second bridge.’
“Barrow Borough Council wouldn’t have the money to do it ourselves so I hope the county council cabinet will discuss this and, together with Barrow Borough Council, lobby the government and its agencies to start building a bridge.
“Our commitment was: ‘We can’t get you a bridge but we can campaign for it’ and that’s what we’ve done.
“It’s not going to happen overnight but I would certainly hope within the next year we will get the green light.”
But former Labour councillor for South Walney, John Murphy said: “This is clearly a total Conservative pre-election ploy, a false promise.
“Where are they going to put it? There is no place.
“What would they destroy to make a bridge?
“You can’t tear down a housing estate, you can’t build on the North Walney land of scientific interest.
“The remaining land is too low, there has to be some suspension, you can’t just drop in a bridge.
“It’s not real. The cost would be phenomenal, and there’s just no money, it’s a joke.”
Cllr Marcus hit back: “It’s not just Conservative voters who are interested in a bridge for Walney, it’s the majority of the voters.
“This is not about scoring political points, it’s about the people of the area and what they want.”
First published at 13:10, Tuesday, 03 November 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
At least the Conservative's are being proactive and trying to highlight the problem, if it was up to J Murphy and Labour Walney would be left to wash away with the lack of tidal defense. Labour have not looked after the interests of the thousands of islanders or their needs.
The petition is obviously just political posturing because it has 'Conservative Party' written across the top of the petition.It actually does the cause more harm than good by pretending it's real progress when it's just a way to get Councillors pictures in the paper.If the Councillors really wanted a second bridge, they should be working with Councillors of other parties and relevant agencies. The cost would be at least tens of millions of pounds. It will be in competition with many other schemes including accident blackspots.Only having one bridge is a nuisance when it's busy but is that enough reason to spends tens of millions of pounds? Are lives lost because of it? Is there a more compelling case than getting home five minutes earlier? These are not sarcastic questions, they are real questions. The case for a second bridge needs to be based on hard facts, not party political petitions and posturing for the cameras.
View all 16 comments on this article