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Bridge set to be part of cycle network

A VITAL leisure route is still open despite large-scale work being carried out.

SCAFFOLDING surrounds the bridge undergoing vital work
SCAFFOLDING surrounds the bridge undergoing vital work

A VITAL leisure route is still open despite large-scale work being carried out.

Shoe Mill Bridge at the bottom of Hill Street in Baxenden is undergoing £60,000-worth of work to its surface so it can become part of the National Cycle Network.

A temporary footbridge is in place so cyclists, walkers and horse-riders can continue to enjoy the route which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. But riders have been advised to dismount before going over the bridge.

The footbridge over the old disused railway line was originally a wooden deck supported by four steel beams, but the deck is now being covered with reinforced concrete.

Ward councillor John Griffiths said: "This path is used extensively by local people and it's good to see it being upgraded.

The old wooden bridge that was there was always susceptible to vandalism and hopefully the new bridge should do away with that problem."

However, a county council spokesman said there had been vandalism at the site.

He said: "There was a minor problem, it was just something and nothing. It's not something that would make the headlines. Some kids had moved some scaffolding and some netting had been burned but not badly.

"Sites in other areas of the country have full-time security because of their problems but this doesn't warrant such strong measures. We have members of our team who inspect the job to make sure it's safe but that's routine anyway."

He added that the construction work was within its budget and running to schedule.

The work started in July and is being carried out by Lancashire County Engineering Services, whose spoke-sman said the bridge, originally known as the Five Arches Bridge, should be complete in a few months' time.


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