Thousands sign petition to 'save' Preston's Old Tram Bridge following its closure

Thousands have signed a petition to save Preston’s Old Tram Bridge after it was announced it would be closed for the whole summer.

The closed Old Tram Bridge
The closed Old Tram Bridge

More than 3,800 people have signed the online petition headed 'Save Preston's Old Tram Road Bridge'.

The petition states that: "Given that walking and cycling to work are far greener than using a car or even public transport, it would be foolhardy to remove this vital link in the network of pathways to the south of Preston."

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Preston's Old Tram Bridge to remain closed for the WHOLE of summer
The petition to save the bridge has more than 3,800 signatures

It comes as the Post revealed that Lancashire County Council has decided to keep the bridge closed until September - with the potential to extend the closure if necessary.

It was closed in late February due to safety concerns following an inspection into the condition of the walkway.

Michael Nye, 62, a writer and keen cyclist, is the man behind the petition as well as the 1,300-strong Friends of the Old Tram Road Bridge group lobbying to protect the bridge which dates back to the 1800s.

Michael said: “The bridge opened in 1804 and has remained so for the vast majority of its life.

"Closing it without a date for reopening is not an option, as is closing it and not reopening it at all.”

Michael revealed that the group is “doing anything we can” to support the council and “feed information about the bridge and its history”.

"It's not a surprise [that the closure was extended]," he explained.

"It's going to take a long time to get things sorted."

The friends group is set to meet with Lancashire County Coun Keith Iddon at 1pm on Tuesday, April 9 at County Hall in Preston to discuss the matter further.

A county council said: “We have now received the final inspection report which is being considered by a working group of officers in order to be able to make recommendations to the council’s cabinet in the near future.

“We have renewed the closure notice for the Tram Bridge until September, however may then need to extend the closure for a further period as the bridge can only be reopened when it is safe to use.”

The county council has put a diversion in place directing people to use the nearby Avenham Viaduct Bridge instead.