The district and county councils have sought to reassure concerned Sidmouth residents a footbridge damaged in November’s floods will be repaired.

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The cut-through into the Byes via Lawn Vista has been closed since extreme weather led to the River Sid destroying the timber handrails and damaging the surface.

Nearby residents have said it would be a ‘tragic’ loss if the footbridge is not reopened, but there was confusion over which council was responsible for the repairs.

However both East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Devon County Council (DCC) have said the work will take place ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “An inspection of the bridge has revealed that it should be possible to repair it by replacing handrails and re-surfacing with tarmac.

“We will shortly be consulting a contractor with a view to carrying out this work as soon as possible.”

Lynn Rutherford, who lives in Lawn Vista, said the footbridge is popular with schoolchildren and walkers, adding she was upset to hear there may not be funding to fix it.

But Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for Highways and Sidmouth representative, said the bridge section at County Hall have made arrangements for the work to be added to the storm damage repair schedule.

“There is certainly no suggestion that the bridge will remain closed,” he added.

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