The bridge is back!

Today the footbridge is finally back.  I walked across it, and took a good look.

It’s a rather ugly beast, presumably built to minimum budget  and having all the elegance and charm of the railings put up around 1960s main roads in our cities to make it clear that pedestrians were no longer welcome.  Not that the old one was a thing of beauty, either.  Given the generally nice setting, that’s a shame. But at least we have the route back.

In other local news, I’ve looked at the details of that planning application.  There’s absolutely no access except from Old Exeter Road, and they’re going to have to close it for an extended period (having cleared it of parked cars) to build this lot.  There’s already an excess of demand over supply for parking, and new flats will only make that worse: that’s the kind of thing that’ll weigh fairly heavily with the planning folks, unless something substantially more than a Free Lunch is involved.

Still, the mere fact of the application is yet another reason to move from this blighted place.

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Posted on December 22, 2006, in local, tavistock. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I believe the new bridge came in on budget at £65,000, which, I think, ain’t bad value for the local taxpayer. It’s not THAT bad to look at either, and it’s safe and serviceable. So overall, as a Tavistock Council Tax payer, I’m pretty happy with it. And it doesn’t carry cars, only pedestrians and bikes, so surely that warrants some praise?!

    John

  2. Phooey. £65K is a lot, for a little footbridge. OK something ornate in stone would be OTT, but at that price they should be able, for instance, to give us really nice wrought iron railings instead of those ugly things in industrial-green paint, and with a blotched appearance from Day 1.

    Or a much nicer wooden bridge (or bridge with wooden railings) would surely have been cheaper, too. There are many wooden footbridges locally.

    I’ve worked out why the old bridge was less annoying. It’s because it was flat. The new one is slightly arched, which would be great if it wasn’t so ugly.

  3. When did you last buy a bridge? OK, I haven’t bought one personally, but the organisation that I work for commissions a lot of infrastructure and, believe me, you don’t get much for £65K these days. Don’t know about the cost of wrought iron railings, wood etc, but these “traditional” materials tend to come with premium prices, I’m afraid. Bog standard steelwork is a relatively cheap material by comparison.

    I quite like the arched shape, and agree that it would be far uglier if flat, although possibly more practical for crossing, especially with wheels. I guess the arch gives it a bit more strength with less metal/concrete than would be necessary if it was flat like the old one. Also I agree that the green paint isn’t very clever. A much darker shade of green, or even gloss black, would probably look nicer.

    Perhaps it would have been worth another £10K for more appealing materials, but then someone would say that was too much. You can’t please all the folk all the time, I’m afraid!

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