Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stockport's only footbridge over the Mersey

The 19th Century footbridge now lies in Gorsey Bank. It looks complete and undistorted by its upheaval, as if there may have been many more years life in the structure. Perhaps it was the old piers that made replacement essential. Certainly the Council officers said the bridge was life expired.

On a damp Friday afternoon, the replacement was swung into place and placed on new concrete piers.

As it was lowered, a local resident observed, "That's yours and my Council Tax paid for that."

I pointed out it was to be paid for by the developers of Gorsey Bank and the playing field.

"They're not going to build on the playing field," the resident assurred me. "There is going to be a petition about that."

It would in fact take an exceptional amount of lobbying to prevent development of the playing field, as long as the developer's plans are consistent with the Planning Design. This allows for the playing field to be built on, as long as the equivalent amount of play are is created elsewhere in the development.

View from the north bank

The width is substantial and will continue to be able to support motorbikes, that chew up the Trans Pennine Trail and annoy walkers. May be it has been designed to allow horses to use it, but I can't see where horses could safely get to, beyond Gorsey Bank.

The brick piers remain, but have been backfilled with concrete. They seem to be acting now only as 'sympathetic' facings for the concrete piers.

Note that the bridge will not be open to the public until January.

The new view upriver, with the viaduct just visible