Whitby East Pier Footbridge Approved

The East Pier Extension footbridge was removed by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) some 17 years ago. Now, thanks to funding from Whitby Town Council, SBC is planning to replace the footbridge sometime this winter. You might ask why Whitby Town Council has to pay for something that SBC is actually responsible for? After all, isn’t it SBC staff who will no longer have to undertake the ‘risky operation’ of maintaining the navigation light on the end of the East Extension via a small boat and a very rusty ladder?

This is how the Whitby Gazette carried the story on Friday 21 September 2018:

‘The construction and installation of a replacement footbridge for Whitby’s piers has been approved. The new £300,000 structure, which will connect the East Pier to its Extension, is set to be rebuilt during a break in the £7.6 million Whitby Piers restoration project.

‘In a report which went before full Council, Councillor Mike Cockerill, SBC’s cabinet member for major projects, wrote: “There will be a winter shutdown between November 5th 2018 and March 17th 2019 due to anticipated deterioration in sea conditions preventing marine-based work progressing in an efficient manner. During this winter shutdown SBC intends to install the new link bridge to the East Pier”

‘The original footbridge, which had been damaged beyond repair by the sea, had to be removed in 2001. The structure allowed harbour staff easy access to maintain the navigation beacon at the end of the East Extension. Since it was removed, staff have had to use a boat and ladders to access it.

‘The East footbridge project was realised after Whitby Town Council agreed to contribute £6,000 / year for the next 20 years to the cost. The money pledged by Whitby Town Council comes from its income from toilets in the town.

‘The new footbridge, which will be designed and built by Lochshell Engineering Ltd, will be 26metres (85 feet) in length, with a wooden walkway and steel frame. Whitby’s East and West Piers enclose the mouth of the River Esk where it flows into the North Sea. They were built in the 18th Century from sandstone, while the Extensions and their Footbridges were built in the early 20th Century.’

With acknowledgments and thanks to The Editor, Whitby Gazette.

Note: Whitby town centre is protected from the full fury of the North Sea by the East and West Piers, which are themselves protected by their Extensions. Repairs to the basic structure of the Piers are welcome, but in fact the structure of the Extensions is in a far worse state than the Piers. There are no plans to repair the basic structure of the Extensions for several decades…

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