Successful Rhubarb Bridge petition triggers Peterborough City Council debate

Campaigners attempting to prevent the loss of Rhubarb Bridge will get another chance to make their case after securing a debate at Peterborough City Council.

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 has reached 500 signatures, triggering a debate of the full council.

Rhubarb Bridge

Rhubarb Bridge

The debate is due to be heard on Wednesday, October 11.

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

. Debate all of this at a full council meeting as soon as possible then hold a meeting for the public to share their thoughts with council officers and councillors.

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 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.

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

Last week campaigners videoed cars jumping red lights at the site of the proposed crossing, which they say highlighted the need for a bridge.

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