On 12 January 2018, Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston Councillor Donald Alexander (who is already very supportive of this campaign) obtained this update from the Bristol City Council highways & bridges team in relation to the repair plan which was supposed to begin in October:
“Apologies for the delay of 8 weeks due to Redcliffe Bridge, the Chocolate Path, the collapse of a wall in Worrall Road and other issues. CH2M have begun their survey work (ecological) and are now waiting for permission from Historic England to take core samples out of the rocks around the bridge. After this the road can be closed so as to complete the survey work. Then there will be some dificult decisions to make as to how to repair the bridge in a way which protects it from similar incidents in the future as well as retaining its character.”
However, we are sceptical that the core sample application has actually been put in – which should actually go to the city conservation team rather than to Historic England. We will be pressing for further answers.
More importantly, as the update above reveals, the repair to the bridge could drag on indefinitely as other maintenance issues arise around Bristol, and there is still a real risk of it not opening to pedestrians ever given the “difficult decisions” ahead.
That’s why maintaining pressure is so vital – this project will get priority treatment if council officials understand that it is important for many, many local people.