Widespread backing to build the bridge
Political consensus for Fletton Quays development
Political consensus at Peterborough City Council is a rare thing these days, but there was widespread support last week for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge to link the new Fletton Quays development with the Embankment.
However, Conservative council leader Cllr John Holdich warned that government cuts mean for now it’s a choice between funding the bridge or looking after children and older people.
The debate was set up by a motion from Labour’s
Cllr Richard Ferris, but as he was unable to attend his col- league Matthew Mahabadi put the case for the bridge forward.
He said the public often see councillors as “buffet-guzzling irrelevants who don’t contribute anything to the quality of life in this city.”
He ended by urging fellow members to deliver “real and lasting change” and give the city something to be proud of.
Cllr Ferris’ motion said the footbridge “should be constructed” but an amendment from cabinet member for planning Cllr Peter Hiller, which was unanimous- ly agreed, said the footbridge “should be considered” as part of the council’s future budgets.
The Peterborough Telegraph’s ‘Build the Bridge’ campaign was mentioned during the debate. Deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald said the PT and opposition councillors were “jumping on the bandwagon” with the Conservatives having led the way on putting in plans for a bridge. Councillors said putting the new University of Peterborough main campus at the Embankment would be a catalyst for building the bridge.
They also said it would reduce traffic near Fletton Quays, which will have 280 homes, offices, a hotel and restaurants, and that it would be a good link between the new arts hub at the site and the Key Theatre.
Cllr Holdich said the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which he is deputy mayor of, will not fund the footbridge.
Instead, he said, the authority will spend its infrastructure money on bringing in “jobs, housing and industry to the city.”
The site of the proposed bridge over River Nene from the South Bank