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Group forms following concerns over old bridge

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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PEOPLE in Burton have joined forces to safeguard the future of a historic footbridge that has fallen into disrepair.

The Ferry Bridge in Stapenhill has become dilapidated in recent years, leading people to worry that not enough is being done to preserve the grade two listed structure.

Adam Cole, 25, grew up in Burton and said he was surprised to see the state of the bridge on a recent visit.

He said: “The footpath is wrecked. It surprised me and it seemed a lot of people didn’t realise.

“I grew up in Burton and used to walk over with my grandad. I would love to see it restored back to what it used to look like.”

Adam posted some photos of the bridge on a Facebook group, which led to the formation of the Friends of Ferry Bridge. The group, which has 55 members, is now discussing how they can help secure funding to renovate the bridge.

In September £50,000 was spent on repairs to the bridge by Staffordshire County Council. However, this was to repair pillars under the water.

The group has been told by the council that its structures department plan to carry out some repair works to the piers of the bridge next year, and will investigate further works, depending on funding.

Several site visits regarding the work have already taken place, involving English Heritage and members from Burton Civic Society.

Adam added: “The idea is for us to discuss ideas, we want to make people aware that the bridge is falling apart. We would like to see if local people can get together and raise money. The bridge is something that everyone drives past quite regularly. It is sad really as it has been there 100 years and is part of the history of the town.”

The work carried out last year saw steel sleeves installed to the base of all four columns from the river bed up to low water level after the cast iron structure showed signs of distress.

Members of the friends group have been writing of their memories of the bridge on Facebook, including Peter Behan, who wrote: “The Ferry Bridge is so important not only as a connection over the flood plains to Burton but for its history.”

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