Copperleaf Feasibility Study

Copperleaf Feasibility Study regarding upgrading Lucy’s Mill Bridge

If you’d like to go straight to the report CLICK HERE .

It’s a difficult time for people everywhere – across the whole of the World. The next few months will mean that some residents will have their lives changed (hopefully for just a short time) whilst the rest of the town will be going about their day-to-day lives and doing their best to protect themselves and to stop the virus from spreading. Everyone hopes that by the Summer, we will all know a lot more about the near and long term future of how we deal with this, and that we – residents and visitors – will be living as normal lives as is possible. That will include enjoying everything that makes our town a wonderful place to live. That includes our Riverbanks and being able to go where we want to, when we want to.

This report is for the future. That could be this Summer. We will be keeping planning for everything else, so the future of Lucy’s Mill Bridge can considered alongside the rest of our lives.

Our elected members can take this report and consider it after they’ve worked on how they will help residents safe with what the next months will bring. Our lives need to carry on as best as we can, with people working in the town, or at home, and young people going to school or college, and everyone using the shops and services in the town, and our open spaces to be active.

This report is of the quality that you can ask your Town, District and County Councillor how they can take the figures forward so that a decision can be made – that a business case is either sound, or if not, why not – that if the present owners cannot find the funding, why they cannot sell the bridge to new owners who could access the monies needed – that there can be a decision on a timescale for this all to happen, that this is work that can be done even though we all have other issues to manage

Last Summer (some four years into as much work as the Friends of Lucy’s Mill Bridge could do – we are a very small group), we were extraordinarily fortunate to first meet the Consultants from Copperleaf (TM). They – Copperleaf – found out about us through the auspices of the OR Society, a operational research body representing many of the UK’s best consultants who help businesses with all aspects of everything from planning to then developing new infrastructure and products.

Copperleaf offered their services ‘pro-bono’. They would do an assessment of the viability of adding ramps to Lucy’s Mill Bridge, and use all the tools they would use when working with clients across the Globe, including many multi-nationals. Their work is now HERE for you to see. It was seven months of work. The report is 56 pages long and it includes all the steps that the Copperleaf Consultants took to come to their findings. (see below as to how to use/read it as you want).

CLICK HERE to view the report

If you don’t have much time, then the Executive Summary is the very first two pages of the report.

The index gives you a very easy way to find out more about the detail, in 12 Sections and then a three part Appendices

Copperleaf used very well established sources of information and processes, to do their investigations (Government authorised and endorsed). They used their own software to create some of the modelling needed. They contacted and used references from National bodies to set up the framework of their analysis.

We have no idea of what the commercial costs would have been for this consultancy (but are so grateful for the gift of this work) and it should – it must – be recognised that this is authoritative work, of the quality that all partners to the Bridge would hopefully be able to commission, to use, were funds available.

CLICK HERE if you want to read the report now but if you want ideas of some of the highlights before you go to it, then please consider these sections –

Section 2.1 – Accessibility

This covers the world-wide adopted accessibility legislation. It also refers to ‘The Purple Pound’, the disposable income of UK households where someone has a disability. This is worth £249B – yes, it is billions!

These are people many of whom cannot use the bridge at present. They would love to be able to go with friends, or independently, everywhere everyone else goes. They have money that they spend, just like everyone else. They are ‘social’, just like everyone else. They tell all their friends about their experiences.

Section 4.3 – Ownership and Engagement

This section will show you all the people and bodies who were engaged, who were able to be involved – and those who could not, for whatever reason. These are the ‘Stakeholders’ big and small.

Section 5 – A look at all the previous feasibility studies

Section 11 (all) – These are the ‘figures’ from the Cost Benefit Analysis

This is 4-5 pages of reading but at the end (Section 11.4) you will find what may well be conservative values for how quickly the ramps would ‘pay back’ the funds invested

The ‘non-spend’ use is clearly identified. The spend (by visitors) is clearly evaluated

The use is:

  • More young families (most likely to be a woman, on her own) with children in pushchairs using the bridge to for recreation and to travel across the river to access services
  • More cyclists able to safely cross the bridge – yes pushing their bikes (as they do on all the other footbridges) – to then reach parts of the cycle networks on both sides of the riverbanks
  • More people who have mobility issues like arthritis (but do not need a mobility scooter etc.) will able to use the bridge, to increase their activity levels and to grow their options for where they can go and what they can now choose to do

As above, this study looks very closely at what people can do when they use the bridge – do they just go somewhere or do they add some spend because a service or a product is on the route they take

The study is careful to look at how visitor numbers will grow (that the town will keep numbers under control, so that we don’t become over-run)

What the study cannot do is make any projections for the value the new ramps will would have – as a tourist attraction – and for how long this new additional value will last. The study cannot include the use that will happen for residents and visitors when the marina is built.

If you are now ready to read the report CLICK HERE and use the index to take yourself to the section you are interested in

This report is of the quality that you can ask your Town, District and County Councillor how they can take the figures forward so that a decision can be made – that a business case is either sound or if not, why not – that if the present owners cannot find the funding why they cannot sell the bridge to new owners who could access the monies needed – that there can be a decision on a timescale for this all to happen, that this is work that can be done even though we all have other issues to manage