Sidmouth footbridge still possible say campaigners

PUBLISHED: 19:45 24 March 2011

Connaught footbridge campaigners Freddy Wedderburn and Brian Black

Connaught footbridge campaigners Freddy Wedderburn and Brian Black

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MEP confirms no EU law to prevent lower bridge at planned Connaught Garden walkway site

A MEETING with East Devon MP Hugo Swire on Saturday has encouraged footbridge campaigners to fight on.

It has taken more than three years for Freddy Wedderburn and Brian Black to ascertain there is no EU law to say any bridge from Manor Road car park to Connaught Gardens would need 18ft 8ins clearance.

The height of the bridge, and its impact on the site, stymied a planning application to EDDC.

Now Mr Swire has passed the duo a letter from Giles Chichester MEP for the South West, which states: “My researcher has spoken to both the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency…and has found there to be no particular EU law that suggests that bridges must have a clearance of 18ft 8ins.”

A lower bridge of 14ft 10ins would cost far less than the £300,000 originally envisaged and have less impact on the area, they say.

“We have wasted three years on the assumption we had to deal with the EU in Brussels,” said Brian. “We didn’t want it to be a major disruption to Connaught Gardens and the car park.”

Freddy added: “Hugo will support this. There is a need for this local community facility.”


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