Petition created to save Leazes footbridge after Durham council plan to demolish it

The bridge has been called ‘iconic’

Residents are petitioning against Durham council’s plans to demolish Leazes footbridge.

The Leazes footbridge is an essential connection between Claypath and Gilesgate, and has been shut off to pedestrians for months now. Providing an accessible route across the A690, the quick and easy A-road crossing was deemed unsafe to carry on bearing the weight of pedestrians after an inspection in recent months.

The council has said that a specialist inspector has notified them that it is “joints to the underside of the bridge”, that are the most notable issue in terms of the structural integrity of the bridge. Durham County Council said: “It has been confirmed that integral components are failing and the structure is no longer safe to bear the weight of pedestrians.

“The nature of the problems mean they cannot be repaired, and while there is no immediate risk of the footbridge collapsing, this could change if the footbridge remained in position, exposed to the elements”.

Durham County Council thus intends going forward that the bridge will be demolished by Summer 2024. The intended demolition of the bridge is planned to last four weeks, and will involve one overnight full road closure.

Pedestrians are instead invited to use the crossings round the roundabout, or the underpass underneath the A690 in order to cross the road.

This week posters have gone up to ask local residents to sign a petition to save the footbridge, arguing for its place as an iconic Durham bridge, of “immense importance”. Petitioners propose the disadvantages of diverting pedestrians in an absence of the footbridge saying: “The current diversion at traffic lights across the A690 is dangerous and a lengthy diversion, completely at odds with existing Council Duties and Policies.

“These include: Encouraging walking into and out of the city, and to and from school, supporting older people, vulnerable adults and people with disabilities, improving air quality, supporting independent businesses on Claypath, in Gilesgate, Belmont and Carville”.

The petition urges Durham County Council to”find an option and save the Leazes Footbridge”. The petition to save or replace the bridge runs until the 14th June, 2024. You can find more information here.

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