Woodside Bridge Replacement Gets Go-Ahead
No results were found
Contractors working with Exmoor National Park Authority will early next week begin site preparations, ready for the replacement of Woodside Bridge near Lynmouth towards the end of the month. The work follows an extensive risk assessment in close adherence to government guidelines detailing how construction work should take place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has said that where possible construction work should continue, provided that strict guidelines targeted at the industry are met. This message was last week reinforced in a letter from Business Secretary Alok Sharma, reassuring the sector that this was “consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice,” provided that detailed new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are followed.
These SOP have formed the basis for a thorough risk assessment designed to protect both construction workers and the public throughout the works taking place.
The measures include:
- The contractor team of four staying at the National Park Authority’s own Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Education and travelling to site directly. They will be in separate rooms and the Centre is otherwise closed to the public.
- They will bring all their food with them to avoid any need to visit local shopping facilities and will travel in separate vehicles.
- The site and riverside path will be closed to the public while the workers are there and strict social distancing and hygiene will be observed for their safety.
- Hand washing and welfare facilities will be provided on site within a secure compound.
- The site is open to the air with only a small number of workers (four or less) present at any one time.
The appeal that followed won the hearts of the community and visitors alike, attracting celebrity backing from both Julia Bradbury, and Caroline Quentin who paid tribute to Woodside Bridge and the stunning Lyn Valley. Donations came flooding in including an anonymous £15,000 contribution towards the end of last year that brought the 2-year campaign to a close.
In her Facebook video appeal, viewed nearly 17,000 times to date, Caroline Quentin remarked on the beauty of the area and significance of the bridge to the infamous 1952 flood, which destroyed much of Lynmouth and is locally commemorated by Middleham Memorial Gardens, to which the new bridge will link.
The bridge is being constructed in hardwood Exmoor oak, sourced sustainably from the National Park’s own woodlands, which are solely managed for wildlife and public enjoyment. The old bridge was removed in December 2016 after its softwood timbers decayed and it was deemed unsafe.
Dan Barnett, Access and Recreation Manager at Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are pleased to be able to start work on this long-awaited project, which we hope will lift spirits locally and give a much-needed boost to the Lynmouth tourism economy when government restrictions lift and it is safe for visitors to return.”
“We are confident that the measures we are taking will ensure there is no increased risk to residents or workers due to coronavirus. Spectators will not be allowed during any of the works and are instead encouraged to follow the event on our social media channels, and of course to come and enjoy the new bridge when circumstances allow.”
Published: 9 April 2020
- About Exmoor National Park Authority
- Your Key Contacts at Exmoor National Park Authority
- Committees and meetings
- Meetings Calendar
- Meeting Agendas and Reports
- Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities
- Working with us
- Your views
- Equality - Improving Access for All
- Plastic Free Exmoor
- Key Documents
- Records of Decisions and Access to Documents
- Publication Scheme and Open Data
- Press Room
- Our social media house rules
- Partnership Working
- Accessibility Statement
- Position Statements
- UK National Parks' Conference 2022
- Filming on Exmoor