Dorset

Poole's Twin Sails Bridge to be shut for weeks over technical fault

Twin Sails Bridge Image copyright Borough of Poole
Image caption The Twin Sails Bridge links Poole with Hamworthy

Poole's Twin Sails bridge will be closed until "around mid-autumn" after developing another technical fault.

The bridge linking Poole and Hamworthy has been operating on only one of its two lifting rams since January after developing a fault with the other.

The remaining ram is now out of action, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council said.

It has not clarified what the fault is but said repairs are due to be completed "around mid-autumn".

An issue with an electronic sensor closed the bridge for a week in December. Prior to that it shut for a month due to a grating noise.

'New parts ordered'

The council said a new pin was due to be fitted in the autumn to the the first faulty ram, which has already had a bearing replaced, and that new parts had been ordered for the other ram.

"Following a noise heard coming from the remaining lifting ram last weekend, engineers attended and on inspection decided there was serious risk of longer term damage to Twin Sails if it was kept in operation," a statement said.

Andy Hadley, portfolio holder for transport and infrastructure, added: "We have legal obligations to keep the channel open for boats, especially the RNLI and Sunseeker which need to be able to operate, so we have to close Twin Sails to traffic until new parts can be supplied."

Poole Bridge remains open to allow drivers to avoid a six-mile detour and for boats to pass between Holes and Poole Bays.

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