£750k new bridge: ‘Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder,’ says highways boss

PUBLISHED: 12:10 01 May 2018

Artist�s impressions of what the new Alma Bridge will look like when it is finished.

Artist�s impressions of what the new Alma Bridge will look like when it is finished.

Archant

Newly-revealed designs for Sidmouth’s Alma Bridge have received both praise and criticism.

Artist�s impressions of what the new Alma Bridge will look like when it is finished. Artist�s impressions of what the new Alma Bridge will look like when it is finished.

The Herald revealed a sneak-peek of what the the proposed £750,000 crossing could look like earlier this month.

While some described it as ‘hideous’ and ‘ugly’, others said it was ‘impressive’ and that the town was ‘very lucky’ to have secured funding.

Devon County Council’s highways boss Stuart Hughes said more people had told him that they liked the potential design, than those who did not.

Artist’s impressions of the bridge were showcased at an exhibition held at Kennaway House last week.

John Mullins, 90, who lives on the seafront, said: “It is very impressive – it is important for us to retain the coastal path. I think we are very lucky to get the funding for it.”

Richard Thurlow, of Regency Gate, said: “I think it is very appropriate.”

Ros Brookes, 70, of Sidbury, said: “I think it is very nice, but it would be nicer if they were to put a few more curves in it - making it look at bit more aesthetically pleasing.”

Some residents took to Facebook to share their views, including 65-year-old Bea Richards, who lived in Sidmouth for 28 years. She called the proposed bridge a ‘monstrosity’, adding: “The new one is dreadful. Why not replace like-for-like? It is a sensitive area. It has been a part of Sidmouth forever, ask the Sidmothians what they want, not incomers, the real Sidmothians.”

Stevie Hallett, who has been visiting the town since he was a boy, also said it was a ‘hideous modern design’ and ‘out of character’. He added: “Surely the money would be better spent on halting or reducing the cliff erosion.”

Karen Oliver, who lives in the valley, said: “It looks like something that goes over the motorway.”

Councillor Hughes said: “People will have the opportunity to have their say on the bridge once a planning application has been submitted. “Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder and I’ve had more people saying to me that they like it than not.”

It is hoped works on the new bridge will start this autumn and will be finished in six months.

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