The construction of a pedestrian crossing beside the Blacksole Bridge cannot come a moment too soon says Herne Bay councillor Peter Vickery-Jones. He was speaking after the bridge suffered vehicle damage at the weekend, which Cllr Vickery-Jones said would have killed anyone crossing on foot at the time. The damage is not thought to be structural but left a severe scrape of more than loft along the brickwork.
People living in the area say that with new housing developments springing up in the area, the footbridge is needed more than ever. But Cllr Vickery-Jones is now optimistic the safety measure will be installed soon and be funded through the new Sainsbury’s supermarket development, which the city council’s planning committee is due to consider next month. He said:
“I have it in writing from Sainsbury’s and a section 101 agreement that they will crack on with it as soon as they get planning permission. We already have the agreement of Network Rail in place, which is important because it will be a significant structure. For years, pedestrians crossing that bridge have been at risk because it can be a really tight squeeze when two vehicles are also passing and there is potential for a grave accident, so the funding and improvements we will get through the Sainsbury’s development on the Altira business park will be very welcome.
I know some people have expressed reservations about a new supermarket and the effect on local businesses. But I met with Herne Bay Chamber of Commerce and town partners recently and the general view I took away was that they thought it would be good for the town. I hope the planning committee approves it and I’ll lie down in the street in protest if it’s turned down.”
Herne Bay Gazette, June 26th 2014