Bridge bid is a no go idea

Proposals to build a moveable bridge at Wansford in order to allow the Driffield Navigation to reopen remain on hold almost a decade after a feasibility study was mooted.

And there is little prospect that the scheme will progress any further in the near future, it has been revealed.

At the end of 2003, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Cabinet agreed to give their support for officers to commission a feasibility study on the Wansford Road Bridge - including costs for replacing it with either a lifting or swing bridge.

But the scheme never became a reality.

During a Driffield town council question session last week with ERYC ward councillors, Coun David Credland asked: “Has progress been made with regards to a moveable bridge at wansford?”

Coun Felicity Temple replied: “That was chucked out about eight years ago on grounds of cost.”

Coun Symon Fraser explained: “A lot of work was done a number of years ago, looking into a number of options for dealing with that fixed bridge in a number of different ways.

“At that time there was a chunk of money set aside in the East Riding’s capital budget and it sat there in that budget for a number of years, unspent, because the Driffield Navigation Trust could not get the other money together which was needed to match fund it.

“Currently, I think it would be extraordinarily difficult to get the funding out of the Government to do anything to that bridge because it is all assessed on a benefit cost ratio and I think that bridge would stagger and struggle.

“I remain as supportive of the idea of having that bridge restored in some sort of way which would allow navigation as I always have been.

“I have always thought that it is a good idea which I would like to see taken forward.

“In the current financial position that the country is in, it would be very very difficult to justify the rebuild of that bridge to allow navigation into Driffield.

“We have to accept that navigation would simply, for a number of reasons, be very limited in terms of the number of craft that would benefit and use it.

“The business case would be difficult to draw together to find the money and support the spend of the money on that scheme.”