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DIBBINSDALE WOODS: Dangerous bridge causing a stir

DIBBINSDALE WOODS: Dangerous bridge causing a stir

Image: LDRS

A bridge which many believe is “dangerous” and could cause injuries is causing a stir in one part of Merseyside.

The bridge, in Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve, in Bromborough, Wirral, was damaged by floods earlier this year.

Although Wirral Council closed the bridge, it seems this has not stopped people from using it and putting themselves at risk.

One concerned resident sent a message to the authority on Facebook.

They said: “When are you going to fix the bridge in the Dibbinsdale? Everyone crosses it even though it’s broken, it is becoming very dangerous.

“No hazard tape now, or a piece of wood across to stop anyone. It really is getting terribly bad. The other bridge is worse and people are still crossing there too.

“This [creates] a potential for an injury. I know people shouldn’t be crossing but they are.”

Reacting to the picture they put on Facebook, one person said: “Wow, so dangerous, it’s quite deep too at this time of year.”

While another person added: “Agree this is shocking, been a few times recently expecting it to be fixed when instead more bridges are broken. So dangerous.”

Summing up the fear those commenting on the website had, another poster called the bridge “an accident waiting to happen”.

The bridge joins a network of footpaths through the Dibbinsdale and is one of few crossing points in the woods.

Given its importance, Liberal Democrat councillor Phil Gilchrist, who represents the nearby Eastham ward wants it to be repaired.

Cllr Gilchrist said: “I was down there to look after reading about it in a newsletter about Wirral’s footpaths.

“It is a sorry sight, pushed out of shape and sloping at a crazy angle. The council has urged people not to use it.

“This local woodland has provided a lung for people during the pandemic. The paths have been so well used that they are being worn away.

“I have asked the council to look not only at the bridge, but at the steep paths and steps leading into the valley.”

A Wirral Council officer responded to Cllr Gilchrist’s concerns at the end of last month.

They said: “As you are aware the bridge had suffered from substantial damage from flooding earlier this year and unfortunately needed to be closed off immediately as it was deemed to be unsafe.

“The bridge has been looked at and assessed by the council’s structural engineer.

“Due to the remote location of the bridge (in the middle of a Site of Special Scientific Interest protected woodland on narrow paths) it has been a challenge to work out how to repair and lift the bridge back into position as access is very poor.

“We have come up with a solution and [are] awaiting a final price from the contractor before proceeding hopefully in early/mid-April with this work (weather dependant).

“I’ll keep you updated with the progress.”

Wirral Council said work started today on dismantling the damaged bridge and staff will be meeting on site tomorrow to discuss the process and timescales for the remedial work needed.

Wirral's council elections take place on May 6.

Candidates standing in Eastham:
Phil Gilchrist (Liberal Democrats)
Percy Hogg (Green Party)
Shabil Syed (Labour Party)
Paul Connolly (Conservative Party)

Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter


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