DISMAY AT COUNCIL BID TO DEMOLISH FOOTBRIDGE
Residents’ safety fears over controversial plans to pull down Rhubarb Bridge
Safety concerns have been raised after the replacement for Rhubarb Bridge was revealed for the first time yesterday.
Plans unveiled by Peterborough
City Council showed a series of Toucan crossings will be installed at the roundabout separating Lincoln Road (by Brotherhood Retail Park) and Bourges Boulevard, including on the A47 slip roads, with extra lanes put in for motorists.
However, Matthew Barber, head of partnerships (Midlands and East) at sustainable transport charity Sustrans, believes pedestrians and cyclists might try to jump the crossings before the green man is showing due to long waiting times.
He said: “Rhubarb Bridge is a gateway to the north of the city. But going from Marks And Spencer in Brotherhoods to PC World on the other side will now involve four pedestrian crosses.
“If there are many delays then people, especially children, will try and find gaps in the traffic. It’s children I’m most concerned about. If they are rushing to school and the waiting times are too long they will try and find the gaps.”
Mr Barber said the £5.5 million scheme at Junction 18 of the A47/A15 roundabout prioritises motorists over cyclists and pedestrians.
Council cabinet member Cllr Peter Hiller said Rhubarb Bridge had come to “the end of its life.” He added that the new scheme will improve traffic flow and accessibility for all users.
However, Labour group leader Cllr Ed Murphy said he will be urging members of a council scrutiny committee to call-in the decision to progress the scheme due to a lack of consultation and because “alternatives have not been explored.”
Liberal Democrat group Cllr Nick Sandford also hit out at the council for not consulting earlier.
The plans were unveiled to the public yesterday at the Salvation Army Citadel in Bourges Boulevard, with people queuing to get in. The final plans will be revealed in September and works will begin this financial year.
Liberal Democrat city councillor Darren Fower questioned why the council is not doing more to reduce the reliance on cars.
A council spokesman said safety and accessibility are “paramount considerations” with concerns answered during meetings with key stakeholders and the public.
“If there are many delays then people will try and find gaps in the traffic.” Matthew Barber £18m Millennium Bridge, London £11m Media City Footbridge, Salford £15m Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees £32m Walton Bridge, Surrey £37m Twin Sails Bridge, Dorset £14m Peace Bridge, Derry
The plans to replace Rhubarb Bridge with a series of crossings Existing footway to remain Proposed 3m foot cycleway Proposed 2.1m footway Proposed carriageway resurfacing
Proposed Toucan crossing with droppped kerbs and tactile paving Proposed carriageway widening
Existing footway cycleway to be resurfaced
Proposed maintenace hard-standing Proposed tactile paving