Matlock Bath Jubilee Bridge 'could be removed'

  • 4 July 2013
  • From the section Derby
Jubilee Bridge
Image caption Officials said the bridge was safe, despite repairs being delayed

A Victorian bridge in a Derbyshire beauty spot may have to be removed after restoration plans fell through.

The Jubilee Bridge, which crosses the River Derwent in Matlock Bath, had been due to undergo £140,000 of repairs in time for a local festival this autumn.

But problems with scaffolding have forced a review and the planned work has been suspended.

Officials said various options were being considered, including dismantling the bridge for repairs elsewhere.

The iron bridge, which dates from 1887, links the promenade in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, to a series of footpaths called the Lovers' Walks.

Concerns had been raised about its condition, with the parish council contacting Derbyshire Dales District Council asking for repairs.

In April the district council said contractors had been appointed to renovate the structure using the "shot blasting" technique.

Work was due to start at the end of May and finish in time for the bridge to be reopened for the Matlock Bath Illuminations beginning at the end of August.

A council spokesman said: "The Environment Agency wanted assurances the required scaffolding could be removed in the event of flooding.

"This was not practical so we have had to accept the project cannot go forward in this form and we will have to re-tender at some point in 2014.

"The repairs will have to take a different form and could even include taking the bridge away."

The district council's Director of Planning and Housing Services, Paul Wilson, said: "Although there are no health and safety issues associated with keeping the bridge open in its current state while we re-tender the contract, we are naturally disappointed we have been forced to delay the restoration of such an important architectural feature."

The project would also return the bridge to its original mid-green Victorian colour scheme.

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