Anger over plans to replace historic Sheffield bridge

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Campaigners are planning to pack a public meeting over controversial plans to demolish a historic bridge.

Sheffield Council is looking into viable options for Unsliven Bridge, in Stocksbridge after it was discovered to be understrength.

Engineers have proposed building a replacement arch bridge but residents are calling on them to look at other options.

A public meeting is planned for Thursday to discuss suggestions put forward by Stocksbridge Town Council. These include constructing a bridge alongside the current one and not demolishing it and putting a diversion in place for heavy vehicles.

The existing bridge currently provides provides a turning point for the 57 bus service which is planned to change at the end of January.

One resident said it feels like the council has an 'ulterior motive'.

He said: "Rather than put a weight limit restriction upon it, there is an alternative route which would add seconds to a journey, they want to go against the wishes of the residents and demolish it. It feels like the council have an ulterior motive to replace this bridge with a modern, concrete replacement."

Councillor for the Environment at Sheffield Council, Bryan Lodge a final decision had not yet been made.

He said: "Unsliven Bridge was assessed by Sheffield Council and Amey engineers under the Streets Ahead contract some time ago and was found to be understrength.

"Currently, the bridge is unable to carry the required loads and strengthening options were investigated, concluding that the bridge could not be strengthened and a replacement arch bridge was proposed.

“The existing bridge currently provides a turning point for the 57 Stocksbridge bus service which is planned to change at the end of January 2017.

“Sheffield Council will continue to consult with South Yorkshire Archaeological Service, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Stagecoach and have arranged a public meeting to consider all viable options proposed by Stockbridge Council before coming to a final decision on the bridge, after the bus service changes are confirmed.”

The meeting takes place at Stocksbridge Town Hall on Thursday, January 12 at 6.30pm.