LUFF SAYS EVESHAM MUST NOT BECOME A “NO-THROUGH TOWN”
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LUFF SAYS EVESHAM MUST NOT BECOME A  “NO-THROUGH TOWN”

Evesham’s MP, Peter Luff, has written to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport, calling for financial support for Abbey Bridge and Viaduct at Evesham. He said failure to replace the bridge could effectively turn Evesham into a “no-through town”.
He voiced his serious concerns that Evesham would be “condemned to economic strangulation” if the bridge and viaduct were closed or subject to severe weight restrictions. In his letter he urged the Secretary of State to support Worcestershire County Council’s Major Scheme Bid application for replacement of Abbey Bridge and Viaduct.

He argued that a decision to close the bridge which would have “untold consequences for traffic flows and could be a death knell for the town centre itself”.

Whilst Peter said he fully appreciated the financial stress that the country is under and that he “understands that the desirable will have to take second place to the essential” he urged the Minister to agree with him that replacing “Evesham Abbey Bridge and Viaduct is essential”.

Councillor Derek Prodger, responsible for transport and safe environment on Worcestershire Council submitted the bid. He said: “This is an essential link for Evesham and a new bridge and viaduct will allow access to the town for many years to come”.

Evesham has a population of 22,300 across 9,500 households with a further 38,000 people living in the rural hinterland. Abbey Bridge is situated across the Avon to the south of Evesham town centre, providing a key link for vehicular movements. Typically 18,000 vehicles per day use the bridge, including over 200 buses. The flow on the bridge is close to capacity in the peak hours.

The bridge currently has a 7.5 tonne weight restriction imposed on it because of corrosion to its structure which is uneconomical to repair. Replacing the bridge and viaduct will also deal with the bridge weight limit which will continue to worsen even without growth in demand as the condition of the bridge deteriorates – in effect severing the south of the town from the high street.

The proposed replacement bridge would be a steel bow string arch with a viaduct made from concrete and steel.

ENDS


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