Replacement footbridge scheme being considered for River Annan

Replacement footbridge scheme being considered for River Annan

Dumfries and Galloway Council has commissioned a feasibility study into options for a replacement footbridge(s) on the River Annan.

This study is required following the removal of the two previous structures, the Cuthbertson Memorial Footbridge, and the Diamond Jubilee Footbridge, which were lost during significant flooding events in October 2021.

Work began in January with site visits and a study of the available information, including the survey undertaken by local interest group A Tale of Two Bridges (ATOTB) back in the summer of 2022.

As part of the feasibility work, a community engagement session with committee members from the local ATOTB group was held on Wednesday 20 March.

A presentation from Amey, who is commissioned to undertake this project, highlighted work undertaken over the first two months and answered questions from committee members and representatives from Dumfries and Galloway Council. The aim of the session was to undertake early engagement with the group and gain feedback to ensure all key aspects will be considered during further feasibility studies.

The feasibility works will steer the ATOTB group towards possible funding streams while sponsorship/collection activities continue to raise funds for the new structure(s).

Key objectives during the meeting included identifying the number of structures to be replaced, the preferred location of the structures, and the accessibility provision for the new structure(s). Information was provided on flood zone impact, buildability, structural type, non-motorised user access, and indicative cost. Design standards and their use alongside the ways in which varying design criteria may impact on overall budget for the scheme were also highlighted.

Following the presentation, a breakout session provided the group an opportunity to review plans, ask further questions and have a general debate around the potential options. A summary session was held where the ATOTB group reached consensus on the number of structures required, the preferred locations, and the design parameters to be developed further over the coming weeks – although no final decisions have been made about any future structures.

Councillor Ian Blake, chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities committee, said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council along with the Scottish Government have already pledged a total of £75,000 to support the community group, Annan A Tale of Two Bridges, to bring about a new crossing over the River Annan.The next stage is to consult the wider community and determine the number and location of the bridges, and we would like to thank members of the public for their patience and understanding during this process.”

Councillor Jackie McCamon, vice chair of communities committee, added: “The new bridge(s) will create invaluable space for walking and will represent a significant improvement to the health and wellbeing of the people of Annan.Not only will a new connection create a safe and convenient active travel route between Annan and Annan Rugby Club and the cemetery, but it also opens up a scenic setting for residents and visitors in the area to relax and enjoy what the River Annan has to offer.”

Work will continue to progress with the ATOTB group and Dumfries and Galloway Council to facilitate a public consultation event over the coming months in Annan, with details to be announced in due course.

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