Opening of controversial Rhubarb Bridge crossings delayed indefinitely - two months after they were due to become active

The opening of the controversial pedestrian crossings at Rhubarb Bridge has been delayed indefinitely despite the fact they were meant to be active two months ago.

The signalised crossings on the busy slip roads at the A47/A15 junction near Brotherhood Shopping Park were originally due to open on Monday, September 14, according to Peterborough City Council.

And while this date was missed, a fortnight later the council said: “There have been some issues in connecting the crossings to the City Fibre network. We are working through these and hope to have this resolved this week.”

However, a spokesperson confirmed another two weeks after that date that it was not known when the crossings would eventually open, only stating that it was hoped the problem would be “resolved shortly”.

The new pedestrian crossings by Rhubarb Bridge have yet to open

Asked this week for the latest situation, a spokesperson said: “A date has not been decided as yet, but we are making good progress on this.”

The Peterborough Telegraph has asked if the crossings will open this year but has yet to receive a response.

The introduction of the crossings has proved controversial with campaigners vocally opposing them, although senior figures at the council insist there will be no major safety risk.

Concerns have been fuelled by recent road crashes in the area, as well as safety audits from contractors Skanska which stated that bringing in the crossings could see multiple collisions every year, including ones which may be serious or fatal.

A recent crash near Rhubarb Bridge

Skanska, which is the council’s official highways partner, has “strongly” urged the authority not to progress with the crossings but to instead focus only on repairing Rhubarb Bridge.

However, the concerns were dismissed by the council which insisted that the overall scheme - which included adding in an extra lane of traffic at the roundabout - is safe.

The authority has also suggested that the contractors were ‘confused’ by what the finished scheme would look like when compiling its assessment, that pedestrians and cyclists felt ‘intimidated’ by using Rhubarb Bridge due to previous incidents of serious crime at the location, and that it was not accessible for vulnerable residents.

Initially the £5.5 million scheme - which received £3.85 million of funding from the Department for Transport - envisaged the bridge being knocked down as it was described as being ‘at the end of its life’ and would allegedly cost up to £30 million to replace.

The authority later did a U-turn after a new assessment revealed that Rhubarb could be repaired at the same cost as being demolished.