Fears over plan to axe footbridge
HUNDREDS of people are fighting plans to remove a pedestrian footbridge which they say could put the lives of children and the elderly at risk.
The bridge over Llanedeyrn Drive and a nearby underpass is set to be removed as part of the redevelopment of the Maelfa Shopping Centre, and would be replaced by two zebra crossings.
But more than 500 residents have now signed a petition against this plan – calling for the bridge to either remain where it is or be replaced.
Ulf Dahlstrom, who started the petition, said the bridge is the only safe crossing over Llanedeyrn Drive for the elderly, school children and the disabled.
The underpass near the footbridge is already being filled in, Mr Dahlstrom said, leaving the bridge as the only safe crossing over the road.
He said: “This bridge where it’s located is over a main, busy road that is used as a race track at times.
“They may be thinking of putting zebra crossings in but the feeling is even with that within 12 months there’s possibly going to be two very serious if not fatal accidents.”
The redevelopment of the old Maelfa Centre will include nine new shops, public spaces, 54 affordable apartments and houses managed by developer Cardiff Community Housing Association and 57 homes which will be sold by Persimmon Homes.
Councillor Frank Jacobsen, who will present the petition to the council, said: “We would like the bridge to either stay or be replaced.
“We believe the road underneath is a hazardous road.
“It would be safe if the bridge remained where it is or replaced for the safety of the people of Llanedeyrn.”
The removal of the footbridge was part of the planning permission for the development which was approved in 2016.
The footbridge is scheduled to be removed in mid to late 2019. Cardiff council says these plans were “widely consulted on in the community”. A council spokeswoman said: “The footbridge and a nearby underpass are being replaced by two raised zebra crossings on Llanedeyrn Drive which are positioned to provide ease of access to the new parade of shops.
“A stopping-up order has been approved by the Welsh Government for closure of the footbridge and its removal will be carried out in phase two of the development later next year, after the new zebra crossings are completed. “No petition has been received by the council. If one is received, it will be given due consideration in accordance with council procedures.”
The feeling is within 12 months there’s possibly going to be two very serious if not fatal accidents...
Petition organiser Ulf Dahlstrom
Llanedeyrn bridge campaigners