The Environment Agency has said it has no plans to give the public access to a bridge across the River Trent at Colwick sluice flood gates as it would pose a ‘significant health and safety risk’.
The Agency was responding to recent calls from the public to open the bridge, currently used by EA teams, to all so it could be used by people to cross the River Trent and enjoy the facilities at Holme Pierrepont Water Sports Centre.
The bridge idea, which has been gaining momentum on social media, was welcomed by residents in Colwick.
Sarah Deakin said: “A footbridge across the River Trent is a fabulous idea and we would definitely make use of it and explore the other side of the river.”
Jenny Hilton told Gedling Eye: “I would love a footbridge from Colwick to Holme Pierrepont as it means I could pop over and watch the kayakers, which I always find fun. It would also mean I don’t have to drive all the way round to West Bridgford way to get to the centre.”
Karina Batchelor said the bridge would help get people out of their cars.
She said: “It’s a brilliant idea. I’ve lived in Colwick all my life and would love to walk with dog and children over the sluice. It would mean so many more cars would be off the road and it would encourage people to get out and walk more – so will have an environmental impact too.”
Colwick resident Dawn Hilton, said: “It’s something we have wanted for many years. It would be fabulous to be able to cycle across and would be extremely convenient for us to visit family who live that way. We could leave the car at home.”
Cathryn Jani said a bridge would provide a boost to the local economy.
She said: “This would be fantastic for walking, running and cycling. It would hopefully encourage more businesses to consider Colwick as a base for cafes, restaurants & shops.”
Gedling Eye contacted the Environment Agency, who run the site, about the mounting calls from residents who want the bridge opened.
An Environment Agency Spokesperson said: “Colwick Sluice is a fully operational automated site that poses several significant health and safety risk due to the complex nature of operations there.
“The site and the sluices in particular therefore have tightly controlled access to protect both Environment Agency staff and the general public from any potential harm.”
This isn’t the first time calls have been made to open up the bridge.
A feasibility study looking at public access was carried out in 2014 but plans for the bridge were abandoned after the Environment Agency highlighted a number of safety risks if the public gained access to the site.
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