Fury as council runs up £200,000 bill on consultants to reopen bridgeJuly 17, 2023
Fury as council runs up £200,000 bill on consultants to reopen bridge to neighbourhood ‘cut off’ from the rest of the city after crossing was closed for urgent repairs 20 months ago
- The bridge in Wales was closed because it was supposedly ‘at risk’ of collapse
A neighbourhood has been left furious after a council ran up a £200,000 bill on consultants to reopen a bridge that was ‘cut off’ from the rest of the city after the crossing was closed for urgent repairs 20 months ago.
The bridge in Wales closed because it was supposedly ‘at risk’ of collapse and experts were brought into advise on its reopening.
It has now emerged that those consultants have been paid around £200,000 – despite no progress being made and neighbours are calling for action.
Tony Brookes, who lives on Forge Mews, said: ‘Nothing has happened. We were told that no work could commence during the rainbow trout spawning season.
‘That was two years ago. Nothing’s happened since. There are rats in the area by the bins, and foxes going through our bin bags.
A bridge (pictured right) in Wales was closed for ‘urgent repairs’ for 20 months
Neighbours, who are even planning a second birthday party to mark the closure of the bridge, are furious at being cut off from the city
‘We don’t know what to do. Our car insurance has gone up, as we can’t park on our driveways.
‘We’ve never had an apology despite the myriad of problems.’
It comes after the Old Bassaleg Bridge was closed for urgent repairs on August 6, 2021.
One woman, who asked not to be named, said she lost her belongings in a fire after living on the street for 26 years.
She said the fire service were forced to use bolt cutters to gain access to the street through the access gates off the busy A467 bypass.
She said: ‘It’s the same old situation here. Deliveries won’t come. It’s pathetic. They don’t care about us.
‘The council never clean the road, the residents have had to do it for them. We’re still paying our council tax, for what?’
Newport City Council declined to comment on the payments to consultants.
A spokesperson for Newport City Council earlier said: ‘Our consultants are currently preparing their findings on the condition of the bridge
following sampling and testing of materials, and extensive monitoring of the structure.
The residential street is on the banks of the River Ebbw and residents require Old Bassaleg Bridge to access Newport
Residents of the street have said that they are regularly facing problems with delivery drivers, rats, overgrown weeds and access for emergency services
‘We expect them to provide potential options for next steps based on their findings.
‘Initial investigations were carried out last year, but the presence of numerous utility services apparatus within and directly below the bridge structure complicated any repair proposals.
‘This led to further investigations and design studies having to be undertaken, which has delayed those potential options being provided.
‘The council would like to thank residents of Forge Mews for their patience and understanding while this work has been ongoing.’
Neighbours are now planning to hold a second birthday party for the closed bridge in August.
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