Third Bideford Bridge idea pushed by councillor Sam Robinson
By North Devon Journal | Thursday, September 27, 2012, 07:30
A DEVON county councillor wants a proposal to build a third bridge in Bideford to be put back at the top of the agenda.
Councillor Sam Robinson, who is the county councillor for Bideford East ward, has spoken out about the importance of building a third bridge as more housing developments are planned around the North Devon town.
Mr Robinson first spoke about the matter at a Bideford Town Council meeting earlier this month.
He said: "If we haven't got a wish list and the idea of a third bridge is not on the drawing board, the we can't ask for support from it from prospective developers."
He told the Journal last week: "This bridge needs to be nearer up towards Torrington and coming down from East-the-Water.
"We need to work out how best to get Devon County Council and others to listen.
"It doesn't need to be a high rise bridge, boats don't go up to Littleham anymore, and that instantly cuts millions of the cost. What it needs to be is a modern version of the long bridge.
"We need to protect our historic long bridge. Despite the weight restriction more and more cars will be coming into the area with the proposed developments. Its upkeep is a real concern.
"The newly set up highways and transport liaison group set up in Bideford will hopefully mean we can push this forward.
"We will be meeting again in the next few weeks.
"If we don't have a begging bowl out there then the developers will pass us by."
The county council said: "About two years ago, the county council carried out some work with Torridge District Council to examine the implications of housing and employment growth in the Torridge Local Development Framework on transport around Bideford.
"It concluded there was sufficient evidence to confirm there is no justification for an upstream bridge in the LDF plan period to 2026.
"It was felt that while there is some congestion, mostly in peak periods, there is generally sufficient spare capacity on the two existing bridges.
"The district council is still finalising its proposals for housing development over the next 15-20 years.
"However, the indications are that the amount of development likely to take place in and around the town in that period would fall significantly short of the level required to justify consideration of a third crossing."