Long wait for a new footbridge

The broken footbridge in Ackworth.
The broken footbridge in Ackworth.

a footbridge which people rely on to cross the river in Ackworth is in a state of disrepair and will take months to replace.

The bridge over the River Went has been down for around 18 months.

Wakefield Council is planning a replacement bridge nearby, but said that it would not be in place until “late Spring” next year.

John Hardmann, who lives nearby and supplied a picture of the bridge, said crossing the river was now dangerous for elderly people.

He said: “People in the bottom end of Ackworth use the bridge instead of having to walk up Station Road and Pontefract Road. It’s a cut-through.

“Unless you are in your 20s or 30s you are at risk of breaking a leg. It’s not a small dyke you can just jump across.”

Wakefield Council said it had been in discussions with landowners to agree a location for the new bridge.

Neil Rodgers, service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “Unfortunately there are many factors that can affect the timescales for this type of project.

“However, we are fully committed to replacing this footbridge because we know how much some people rely on it.

“The project will involve designing a new bridge, which will to go out to tender and the successful contractors’ design will then need to be approved.

“Producing and installing the new footbridge will take around 16 weeks. So we would anticipate the new footbridge will be ready for opening in late Spring next year.”