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Bridge renovation moves forward

PUBLISHED: 11:44 05 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:51 03 July 2010

A DILAPIDATED Grade II listed Great Yarmouth bridge could be renovated for use by buses and taxis as well as pedestrians, it emerged this week.

Norfolk County Council's planning and transportation team is set to apply for Heritage Lottery funding for work to the Vauxhall Bridge near the town's railway station, which featured on the Grotbritain website for dirty places in the UK.

A DILAPIDATED Grade II listed Great Yarmouth bridge could be renovated for use by buses and taxis as well as pedestrians, it emerged this week.

Norfolk County Council's planning and transportation team is set to apply for Heritage Lottery funding for work to the Vauxhall Bridge near the town's railway station, which featured on the Grotbritain website for dirty places in the UK.

For years, borough councillors and nearby residents have been calling for improvements to the bridge, describing the structure as an “eyesore” at an important gateway to the town which could give visitors a negative impression.

However, the county council has been carrying out a feasibility study

on five options for

the bridge, ranging

from demolition and replacement by a footbridge to full restoration.

It is understood that the council's project engineer, David Wardale, has decided that refurbishing the structure - presently only used by pedestrians - as a public transport link connecting the station to the town centre should be the preferred option.

On Wednesday afternoon, he presented the plans

to the local panel for

the National Lottery's

Fair Share Trust, which has earmarked £300,000 for work on the bridge.

He also discussed possible ways of sourcing additional funds needed for a project likely to run to a sizeable seven-figure sum.

A pre-application for Heritage Lottery funding is being prepared and hopes are high that the bridge's significance and history will meet the criteria for funding.

A county council spokesman said: “We are hopeful that the significance of the bridge and its history may meet the criteria for backing.

“Ultimately, the group accept that the type of bridge that can be delivered is completely determined by the level of funding that we manage to obtain.

“While we spoke of the aspiration of having

public transport use the bridge too, we also discussed more lower

cost options, such as maintaining the current provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

He expected the pre-application for Heritage Lottery Funding to be completed in the next couple of weeks.

Currently, the bridge is being used as a cycleway and is owned by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

A bus stop may also be provided at the railway station as part of the renovation work.

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