Pigeon House bridge ‘unsafe’ years after floods

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Surrey County Council (SCC) said talks were under way on replacing the bridge

BridgeImage caption Children have been seen running across the bridge in Wisley

A footbridge that was damaged in severe floods nearly two winters ago has still not been repaired and is unsafe, a councillor has said.

Councillor Bill Barker and Wisley Golf Club have reported safety concerns – as well as disruption to walkers.

Mr Barker said children saw the damaged structure as a challenge, and golf club boss Wayne Sheffield said people were using wire cutters to remove fencing.

Mr Barker said storms in December 2013 turned the River Wey into a raging torrent which undercut the embankment and left the bridge on one of the county’s most busily-used footpaths slumped and on its side.

Notices at the site said the bridge could remain closed until August 2016, he added.

But he added: “Any imaginative child looks upon this as a challenge.”

He said walkers had used a private bridge owned by Wisley Golf Club as an alternative, but said action should have been taken after two years.

NoticesImage caption People have been taken down signs and fencing, the club said

The club’s chief executive said: “There’s obviously frustration from walkers. We understand that and we’d like to help more but obviously health and safety-wise it’s a big concern with golf balls flying around.”

The club is keeping a tee closed because access will be needed for bridge repairs.

An SCC spokesman said: “We have been involved in initial discussions with the golf club and Environment Agency to work out how the old bridge can be removed and the new structure put in place, and these are ongoing.”

He said replacing the bridge would cost up to £400,000, and work would start as soon as funds were found.

NoticeImage caption The golf club said it wanted to help but there were safety issues

BridgeImage caption Cllr Barker said the bridge was on one of the county’s busiest footpaths

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