Footbridge closing

Councillors Malcolm Cowan, Frank Marsh and Siobhan Elam on the footbridge at Welwyn Garden City railway station

It has recently been announced that the footbridge between Hydeway and the railway station in Welwyn Garden Ciy will be closed for 4 months for upgrading and repainting. While this long-overdue refurbishment is welcomed, Lib Dem councillors have expressed concern over the timing and duration of this closure.

Malcolm Cowan, Liberal Democrat group leader and a Peartree councillor said “The work is desperately needed and overdue, and it is great that there is finally agreement to get the it done, but the length of the closure will come as a massive shock to my constituents who use the bridge to get to and from the station and the town centre.”

“Having to walk round via the busy main roads of Broadwater Road and Bridge Road for 4 months over winter is not something anyone will be looking forward to. Many may well take to their cars, with all the effect on congestion and pollution that this will bring, assuming they can find space to park.”

Nigel Quinton, County Councillor and leader of the Centenary Foundation’s ‘Welcome to the Garden City’ group added “From the point of view of the celebration of the Centenary of the Garden City, the timing of this could not be worse. There appears to have been little thought given to alternatives, such as dropping a temporary set of steps at the station end, to leave the rest of the bridge free to work on. All Peartree councillors have been frozen out of discussions which might have meant alternatives were seriously considered. We urge the rail companies and the Wheat Quarter to look at ways to ways to provide temporary station access during the lengthy disruption for everyone living or working in the east side of the town.”

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