Safety work to begin on historic footbridge

Posted on: June 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm Gully Road Bridge Seaview

Island Roads is next month due to begin work on a scheme that satisfies the need to make a Seaview bridge safer for pedestrians while at the same time preserving its historic character.

Work is required at Gully Road Footbridge because the parapet walls were assessed as not providing enough protection to prevent people falling several metres to the ground below.

Some local residents were however concerned that installing additional railings to improve safety would detract from the traditional appearance of the brick-built arched structure.

But following local discussions Island Roads has come up with a solution to dig out material from the footway to restore the original levels and, in effect, increase the height of the existing parapet.

Ian Hodson, Island Roads structures manager, said: “We have to ensure that the structures for which we are responsible do not pose an unacceptable risk to those using them.

“But doing that can provide us with challenges as it is not easy to apply modern safety standards to older structures that were built well before such standards were put in place.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with the local community to come up with a scheme that protects the character of this footbridge but also improves the safety of those using it.”

Reg Barry, IW Council member for Nettlestone and Seaview, said: “I am delighted that Island Roads has come up with a solution that takes into account local opinion, local history and the safety of bridge users.”

Built over 100 years ago, the footbridge links Solent View Road, Gully Road and Seagrove Bay.