Metal raid closes £280,000 bridge after thieves steal handrails


A footbridge may have to be closed after metal thieves took sections of the handrails.

Council officials fear the theft of stainless steel horizontal bars from the £280,000 bridge in the Nothe area of Weymouth, Dorset, could have left it unsafe.

The bridge was opened two years ago and John Burridge, Dorset County Council structures manager, said: ‘This totally irresponsible act of damage presents a danger to children and has been reported to the police.’

Callous: The footbridge when it was first being installed but it is now out of action

Callous: The footbridge when it was first being installed but it is now out of action

The council has said it may take some time to repair the because the bars will have to be ordered in by suppliers and could take up to several weeks, even months.

Stevie Durston, of local campaign group Friends of the Nothe, said: ‘I knew there was  a rush on metal but this is something else.

‘It leaves the bridge in a  perilous position.’

The bridge was opened after a campaign by local people to stop it being replaced by steps. It was designed by artist Chris Tipping.

The previous bridge, which had been there for 73-years, was pulled down because it was deteriorating.

Mr Burridge added: 'These bars are distinctive and anyone who has any information is asked to contact the police.


 

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