Call for footbridge at crossing
A busy road bridge has been described as a “death trap” by a Beltinge walking group. Blacksole Bridge, which links Altira Business Park and Beltinge, has no footpath, but is the only pedestrian access across the railway line. Veronica Kemp, who organises the Beltinge Happy Strollers’ weekly walks from the nearby Miramar Care Home, is greatly concerned by the risks pedestrians face on a daily basis as they cross the busy bridge. She said:
“When the business park was granted planning permission in 2003, among the conditions was the construction of a shared walking and cycling bridge. This was agreed to be done when 17,000 sq metres of commercial floor space had been completed, but currently only 2,500 sq metres have been completed.”
Miss Kemp, of The Horshams, has watched traffic levels increase across the bridge since 2003.
“The bridge has been a danger to cross for years, but ever since more people have been using Altira Business Park and more buildings have gone up, the situation has got a lot worse. Why the council ever agreed planning permission before this was dealt with I can’t imagine. I personally refuse to cross the bridge now that it has become so very busy, and before very long there is going to be a very bad accident there.”
The park has also been earmarked as a site for hundreds of new houses to be built, alongside more commercial and retail premises. City council spokesman Rob Davies confirmed provision of a new bridge still remains a condition of the original planning permission for Altira Business Park’s development. He said:
“The applicant has put forward a new proposal to provide traffic management on the existing bridge through a traffic light system, as an alternative to a new bridge. This would be a single file system for cars alongside a shared footpath/cycleway. The details are currently being considered by Kent County Council and the applicant’s transport advisers.”
HB Gazette 2010-02-25