Charity backs Vauxhall Bridge campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:53 30 June 2010

A CAMPAIGN to save and restore Great Yarmouth's rundown gateway to the town has received the backing of a national charity which stands up for pedestrians.

A CAMPAIGN to save and restore Great Yarmouth's rundown gateway to the town has received the backing of a national charity which stands up for pedestrians.

Living Streets says proposals to spruce up Vauxhall Bridge should be supported as the structure provides essential pedestrian access to and from the town's railway station.

The charity has also pledged its support to make sure Yarmouth keeps the 19th century Fairbarn box girder bridge as it is part of the resort's industrial heritage.

Living Streets has signed up to help breathe fresh life into Vauxhall Bridge after its Norfolk representative John Peacock contacted campaigner Miriam Kikis last week.

Mrs Kikis, whose Seafood Restaurant is next to the bridge, fears that a Norfolk County Council review on the bridge's future may choose the outside option of demolishing it instead of restoring it as a main transport link.

Mr Peacock said: “We are delighted to be able to give our support to this worthwhile campaign. This bridge is part of Yarmouth's industrial heritage and provides an important sustainable transport link for pedestrians between the railway station and the town.

“It is therefore imperative that the bridge is properly restored and maintained for future generations.”

A major £60,000 feasibility study is about to be launched into the bridge's future by County Hall, which hopes to seek outside funding for any possible restoration work.

And more weapons have been unveiled in the fight to restore the dilapidated bridge - a sketch pad and artist's palette.

Yarmouth-based industrial landscape artist Katarzyna Coleman has been called in to sketch and then paint the 19th century bridge to help raise the profile of the campaign to breathe fresh into the gateway of the town.

Once Ms Coleman has produced her set of Vauxhall Bridge paintings in several months' time, Mrs Kikis hopes she can use prints of them to use as cards to hand out to customers to promote her campaign.

It is also hoped that Ms Coleman's creation will end up in Yarmouth library - prompting visitors to wonder what will happen if the bridge is lost forever.

Ms Coleman said: “The bridge is a beautiful structure - although at the moment it is not pretty to look at. It is part of Yarmouth's unique industrial landscape and I am glad I can help Miriam.”

The major feasibility study into the bridge's future by Norfolk County Council hopes to seek outside funding from agencies such as the lottery grants. Urban regeneration company 1st East is supporting the study.

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