Concerned Witney residents and councillors have now joined forces to demand a bridge connecting the town centre and Witney East is urgently fixed by Oxfordshire County Council.
The popular Langel Common bridge which goes over the River Windrush to give access for pedestrians and cyclists to Witney Town Centre from Cogges has been in a state of repair for many months. Despite numerous reports on Fix My Street, the online tool for reporting defects to the local council, the bridge has still not been fixed which has left residents and councillors frustrated of the lack of progress.
County Councillor Liam Walker who represents the Hanborough & Minster Lovell division and who is also the Shadow Cabinet member for Highways recently visited the bridge after being made aware of the issue by residents on Facebook.
Cllr Walker said, “Having seen the condition of the bridge I am astonished the County Council have not carried out any immediate repairs. This route is busy for both cyclists and pedestrians but if anyone was to stumble into the side of the bridge, they could easily end up in the River Windrush.”
He added, “It’s clear that whilst the cabinet at Oxfordshire County Council are distracted about banning meat at council meetings the day-to-day work and important issues for the council are not being tackled.”
The councillor in charge of travel and development at the county council, Cllr Duncan Enright, who also represents the Witney North division, had previously said that “like many things in this time of supply chains disrupted by Brexit and Covid, the timber has been delayed by months.”
Toby Morris who is standing for the Conservatives at the District Council election in May said, “I wanted to bring Cllr Walker along to show him the disgraceful state of this bridge and why it’s crucial the county council sort it out as a matter of urgency. I have knocked on a number of doors in Witney East and so many people have mentioned the need to get this bridge fixed so it’s safe for all those using it. We will keep working together to get this sorted.”
Last spring the county council had to conduct some repairs on the bridge after a street cleaner found himself in a hole due to his sweeper machine falling through a rotten part of the decking.
A video was posted on the Facebook page Spotted Witney on March 11th which showed the movement in the supports. One resident commented, “The council needs to look at a few of our bridges. Come on council get them sorted before an accident happens.” Another added, “Unfortunately the council seem more interested in arranging opinion polls and then ignoring the outcome and wasting money on vanity projects.”