Devon County Council (DCC) has said that coastal protection work must be progressed in order for it to safely replace an at-risk footbridge in Sidmouth.
DCC has said that it is currently carrying out weekly inspections of the Alma Footbridge on the coastal path but plans to replace the structure at the same site or downstream cannot move ahead without action on ground stability problems by the local council.
“DCC remains committed to maintaining a link to the coast path but replacing Alma Bridge in its current position is not viable,” said DCC cabinet member for highway management and flood prevention Stuart Hughes. “We can only realistically consider a new bridge if interim measures are introduced to slow the rate of erosion of East Cliff and beach management plan.
“We need any use of taxpayers money to provide a good return over the long term, so we would need Natural England, World Heritage, and East Devon District Council to agree to interim works at Pennington Point to give us the assurance that any investment in a new bridge will be protected for at least 50 years. This would enable us to move forward with plans for a new bridge 20m upstream.”