Survey due on closed Great Yarmouth bridge

Survey work is due to start on a Great Yarmouth bridge which has been closed for more than a week for safety reasons.

The dilapidated Vauxhall Bridge, used by pedestrians and cyclists going to and from Yarmouth's train station and Asda store, was sealed off two Wednesdays ago when one of its wooden planks collapsed.

Because of the closure commuters, shoppers and visitors are being forced to make lengthy diversions to get to and from both sites.

On Monday engineers are set go on a pontoon under the 19th century bridge to survey the damage.

They will see what repairs are needed to make the bridge safe and if they can be made.

Bridge owners Railway Paths, part of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, cannot say if and when the bridge will be re-opened until the damage survey is completed.

It is hoped the bridge can re-open as soon as possible so pedestrians and cyclists do not have to go out of their way.

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The Asda store has seen a fall in its sales as people decide to shop elsewhere.

Alan Jennings, administration manager, said: 'The closure is affecting our business. People in a five minute radius are going elsewhere.

'We have had phone calls asking if the bridge has opened yet. Obviously we hope it opens again soon.'

Graham Plant, Yarmouth Borough council's portfolio holder for tourism, said he had been told the bridge would be surveyed on Monday with a pontoon.

He said: 'It is an inconvenience to have the Vauxhall Bridge closed but for the bridge owners safety must come first.'

Mr Plant went on to praise Sustrans for keeping the bridge free for use of cyclists and pedestrians as there was no right of way on it.

The bridge was sealed off the day after a group called the Vauxhall Links was formed to try and raise funds to restore the fairbairn-type-box-girder bridge to its former glory.

It is hoped �300,000 of grants can be secured for any renovation project.

A spokeswoman for Sustrans said: 'The bridge is being inspected.

'It will then be decided what repairs are needed.'

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