Dunfermline Press

Work at ‘eyesore’ bridge underpass delayed again

- By Ally McRoberts amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

THE latest start date for the muchdelaye­d £265,000 ground stabilisat­ion and improvemen­t works under Glen Bridge in Dunfermlin­e is January or February next year.

It’s long been an “eyesore” area plagued by vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping but the embankment is also slipping away and attempts to make it safe have repeatedly been put back.

Four years ago councillor­s voted to close off the access to the site, due to the risk of “members of the public falling from the subsiding path”, but the most recent start date for the works in March came and went with nothing done.

A report to the City of Dunfermlin­e area committee on Tuesday said that the project at the category B-listed bridge had been included in the area roads programme for 2022-23 but was postponed due to “availabili­ty of staff resources”.

Fife Council’s Vicki Connor added: “I’ve had some feedback from colleagues in the structures team and the proposal is to extend the embankment, reinstate the footpath and provide security fencing, including anti-climb fencing.

“We’re currently waiting on revised drawings from the consultant which are due back in the next couple of weeks and we’re hoping to go out to tender at the end of October, early November with constructi­on starting around January / February.”

The underpass is just yards away from the St Margaret’s Cave tourist attraction and, two years ago, a council engineer explained that the footpath had been “subsiding significan­tly” and that the embankment slippage “appears to have been happening for some time”.

He had added “there is no way of predicting when it may collapse into the valley below”.

The council said the ground conditions were “very poor” and that major structural works would be required to stabilise the embankment and reconstruc­t the footway.

At the committee meeting Cllr Gordon Pryde said: “It’s an area where there are proposals for a heritage project around Wooers’ Alley and it would be good to get that footpath in a better state.

“Hopefully by the end of the financial year there will be work in progress.”

If work is underway by then it’ll be seven years on from local councillor­s’ decision in March 2017, to back plans to spend £20,000 on improving the “dark, depressing and dirty” underpass.

They said it had become a no-go area, apart from youngsters using it as an underage drinking den and rubbish tip, but little progress was made.

By December 2019 it had been closed for safety reasons as it was deemed a “hazard to the public”.

A heavy-duty barrier had been installed, to prevent people stumbling down the steep drop, but this had to be removed after it was set on fire.

In May 2020 the then committee convener, Helen Law, had told the Press: “It should be a beauty spot in Dunfermlin­e but for years it’s looked terrible, a place to be ashamed of.”

She backed the idea of a competitio­n to “generate ideas and attract funding”.

In March 2021 the area was in the news again after a “disgusted” Dunfermlin­e woman counted 41 abandoned shopping trolleys in the area between St Margaret’s Cave and Buffies Brae.

 ?? ?? The area underneath the Glen Bridge in Dunfermlin­e has long been plagued by issues. Image: Jacqueline Feeley
The area underneath the Glen Bridge in Dunfermlin­e has long been plagued by issues. Image: Jacqueline Feeley
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