LETTER: New solution to Peterborough’s Rhubarb Bridge impasse

Residents at the Salvation Army Citadel see the plans
Residents at the Salvation Army Citadel see the plans
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Reaction to Peterborough City Council’s plans to demolish the footpath/cycleway bridge system has generated understandable alarm, fear and anger at the prospect of all crossings to be at road level.

It should be known that Rhubarb is twinned with the identical A47 junction layout west of the East Coast main line - except there are no pedesterian/cycle routes competing with traffic.

That is because designers were able to thread a path system under the A47 by tucking into space available alongside the bridge abutment.

Rhubarb designers, faced with so much foot and bike movement, elected to elevate crossings in a grand manner ensuring no conflict, dangers and no delays.

However, with all structures nearing end of life prematurely it becomes a monumental challenge in costs and method to replace; and even then concerns about anti-social behaviour may dictate some changes.

Yet there is an alternative already existing in part: that pathway from the Boulevard Retail Park, extending to the footbridge over the railway, forms part of a solution which would copy the Bretton side.

There exists enough space to route the pathway alongside the A47 bridge abutment, similar to the Bretton side, and then to construct a new pathway at the back of Brotherhood Retail Park to link to Lincoln Road.

Such a scheme would require safety measures adjacent to the railway and some groundworks, but it is all possible.

This proposal can be achieved given will, determination and commitment requiring clearance of nearly all vegetation to present an open aspect with good lighting, CCTV, plentiful signing and barriers preventing dangerous shortcuts and regular maintenance (there being none in this area at present).

The net result would be a system with no stairs, no ramps or gradients and no traffic.

It presents an opportunity not to be wasted.

Ian Hart

Lincoln Road, Peterborough