A new petition calling on Peterborough City Council to call a halt to its plans for Rhubarb Bridge has reached a milestone in order to force a debate on the issue.
Campaigners set up a petition on the council’s website this week, and by Friday (8 September), it reached the 500 signatures required to force a full council debate which would involve all elected councillors.
A previous petition set up on a different website, which called on the council to ‘save Rhubarb Bridge’, received more than 5,000 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
. 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 but the call-in was narrowly defeated last week.
The £5.5 million scheme had previously been approved as part of the council’s 2017/18 budget.
The new epetition can be viewed at democracy.peterborough.gov.uk.
It can also be viewed on the council’s current ePetitions page.