Wider pavements needed

VOLUNTEERS in Bradford on Avon are calling for the pavements across the Town Bridge to be made wider after cars came very close to recent Heritage Open Day visitors and two of their number were involved in minor collisions.

They want a Town Bridge Pavement Project started which would involve the pavements being widened to allow pedestrians to pass more safely.

Lock Up team leader Rod Johnston said: “I’ve been involved in and helping with the organisation for several years now.

“The open days were splendid, and a great event for the town.

“We had a debrief meeting after the event and we felt it went very well, an excellent job was done by the volunteers, but the major debrief issue was pedestrian safety.

“Over the four days the stewards, wearing hi-vis vests helped visitors into the Lock Up using a large, rigid, hi-vis step-up.

“This filled half the width of the narrow pavement.

“Mothers with buggies, people in wheelchairs, people using walking triangles or walking sticks, had to be carefully helped past Lock Up. This included some of us pre-war volunteers, old enough to be using Zimmer frames.

“On some occasions the step-up had to be moved.

“Large hi-vis traffic cones along the kerb warned traffic of the activity.

“But that didn’t prevent one steward being brushed by a bus and me having my elbow clunked by a wing mirror.”

The project would involve getting rid of the pavement on the downstream side, and doubling the width of the pavement on the upstream side of the bridge. A high curb would also be installed to protect the ancient bridge parapet.

The team, who open the historic Lock Up on the bridge for the public several times a year, shared their worries at a meeting of the town council’s Highways and Transport Committee.

Cllr Sarah Gibson pointed out that the ancient Town Bridge could not cope with a change in weight distribution from widening the pavements, and that discussions are still taking place to reduce the legal weight limit on the bridge.

Once this is in place it would mean pavements may be able to be widened.

The TBPP will be discussed again at a future Highways and Transport meeting.

This is Wiltshire

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