Rhubarb Bridge debate set for Peterborough City Council meeting

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A major debate on the future of Rhubarb Bridge is set to be held at a Peterborough City Council meeting.

The debate will take place at the Town Hall tonight (Wednesday, 11 October) with the Full Council meeting beginning at 7pm, see the agenda on the council website here.

Rhubarb Bridge EMN-170815-173328009

Rhubarb Bridge EMN-170815-173328009

The debate was triggered after a petition calling on the council to halt its plans to demolish the bridge and replace it with a series of level crossings at Junction 18 of the A47/A15 reached 500 signatures.

Campaigners are calling on the council to:

. Halt plans for pedestrian crossings at Junction 18 of the A47/A15 and be “open about the negative impact of current proposals.” This would allow time to seek funding for a replacement pedestrian and cycle bridge, they say

. Re-run a consultation around the most recent Local Transport Plan - where the demolition of Rhubarb Bridge was first publicised - with alternative options put forward

. Hold a meeting for the public to share their thoughts with council officers and councillors following the Full Council debate.

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Follow updates from the Full Council meeting on Twitter from reporter @ptjoellamy

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The council has already approved a £5.5 million contract with Skanska to carry out a scheme to replace Rhubarb Bridge which the authority says is coming to the end of its life.

The proposed works are for a series of Toucan crossings to be installed at the roundabout separating Lincoln Road (by Brotherhood Retail Park) and Bourges Boulevard, including on the A47 slip roads, with extra lanes put in for motorists.

However, after a backlash against the proposals the council said it would consider using some of the £5.5 million to make repairs to the bridge while it seeks external funding for a replacement, although it has warned that a new bridge could cost up to £30 million.

A decision to hand the contract to Skanska was announced on the same day as a consultation on the proposed crossings scheme began.

The awarding of the contract was then called-in by councillors who wanted the decision to be referred back to cabinet member Cllr Peter Hiller to reconsider, but the call-in was narrowly defeated.

The £5.5 million scheme had previously been approved as part of the council’s 2017/18 budget.

An earlier petition set up on a different website, which called on the council to ‘save Rhubarb Bridge’, received more than 5,000 signatures.

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