TOPSHAM, Devon

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Topsham

Fishers Mill Bridge proposal

Public Exhibition, The Globe Hotel, Topsham
Thursday 25th February 2010, 10.00am-7.30pm

The public will soon be able to see Devon County Council's proposals to construct a new bridge crossing of the River Clyst at Fishers Mill Topsham. The proposed cycle/foot bridge will provide an additional link to the cycle network already being developed in the area and to the Exe Estuary Trail. It will also provide a significant safety improvement for both pedestrians and cyclists currently using the existing narrow Clyst Bridge at Fishers Mill which carries traffic along the busy commuter route between Topsham and Clyst St. George.

As part of a consultation process, the County Council will be holding a public exhibition at the Globe Hotel, Topsham on Thursday 25th February. The exhibition will be open to the public from 10am until 7.30pm on the day, and visitors will be able to see a number of options for the bridge crossing under consideration. Devon County Council staff will be on hand to explain and discuss the proposals, and answer any queries relating to the scheme. Members of the public will be able to make comments at the exhibition, by post, or via e mail.

See www.devon.gov.uk/fishersbridge for more details and a PDF poster.

1 comments:

There is a lot of confusion locally that this scheme is part of the Exe Estuary Trail when, in truth, this is really a highways development rather than a cycle way, per se.

I can see little point in the new bridge by the Mill except that it separates the cycle and pedestrian traffic from the cars and trucks using the main road, it does not solve the dangers of cycling or walking on the road between Mill Bridge and Dart’s Farm.
The disruption and loss of privacy to the properties on the southern side of Bridge Hill can only be wondered at. I’m rather glad that I don’t live in one.

All three bridges are essentially the same, each is as ugly as the other, the chief difference being that they are more or less of an eyesore depending on their distance from the old stone bridge.

The RSPB talk of ‘screening’ is a little simplistic and I would suggest unnecessary in the long term when one considers the existing disturbance from traffic using the stone bridge.

I have doubts about the Environment Agency selection based upon flow through the existing bridge, in respect of closeness. The river flow under the stone bridge is prdominantly under arches 2 and 3 from the eastern end, the flow through 4 and 5 hardly manages to scour the western mud bank. The new eastern pier is hardly in the flow at all and the western one would only have little effect. I agree that new pier positions are important but I would wish to see better than ‘back-of-fag-packet’ calculations to justify their claim.
To put the new bridge walkway 800mm above the existing roadway on the grounds of anticipated high flood levels is rather obtuse, I cannot imagine the foot/cycle bridge being in use under conditions when only the top four inches of the stone bridge walls is showing above the river! How long do they estimate the stone bridge would survive in such circumstances? I would anticipate a Police Notice prohibiting access on safety grounds.

Referring to http://www.devon.gov.uk/eecweatsedg-fishersbridge-displaymaterial.pdf
There is a “permissive right of way” indicated from Ebford which connects with a “potential cycleway link to the Exe Estuary Trail” – cyclists and walkers could be discouraged from using the main road route in favour of this alternative across the Clyst.

If I have to choose one of these, then the nearest to the existing bridge is least obtrusive; and the metal construction, type C, being less stolid and intrusive, and keep it as low as possible not 800mm above the existing roadway.

John Sharples

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