Campaigner reiterates call to restore and reopen Preston's Old Tram Road Bridge in Avenham Park

Campaigners are keeping up the pressure to reopen a key bridge in a Preston park.
Campaigners are keeping up the pressure to reopen a key bridge in a Preston park.
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Campaigners are keeping up the pressure to reopen a key bridge in a Preston park.

Michael Nye, 62, a keen cyclist from Penwortham who started a friends pressure group to keep the Old Tram Road Bridge in the spotlight, says alternative routes are not in a good state.

He said: “People say we can’t repair the Tram Road Bridge but we can.

“If you can repair the bus station then you can repair the bridge.

“It will cost less to repair it than to replace it.

“We have looked round the alternative routes. There are several different ways across the river. The Avenham Viaduct bridge is in an appalling condition.

“They closed the Tram Road Bridge but the Viaduct bridge, which is the main alternative, is an equally bad condition - possibly even worse.”

But the highways authority in charge of looking after the county’s road, Lancashire County Council (LCC) says the alternative bridge needs no immediate repairs and is safe to use.

An LCC spokesman said: “We have an agreement with the owner of the Avenham Viaduct bridge to allow the Preston Junction cycle route to cross the bridge.

“We carry out inspections of the viaduct bridge to make sure it’s safe and when we last inspected it in 2018 found no defects requiring immediate attention.”

LCC closed the old Tram Road Bridge in Avenham Park in February after concerns over safety were raised.

Since then the Friends of The Old Tram Road Bridge group has garnered huge support to see the popular footpath reopened.

Almost 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be restored.

The bridge provides a key highway for pedestrians, cyclists and walkers between South Ribble and Preston.