Bridges as tourist attractions
If you go to London, you’ll know many of the bridges by name. Some will be on a ‘to-be-photographed-on’ list. Across the whole of the UK, many towns like Stratford have old bridges that are still in (ever busier) use that are pictured in tourist and generic PR for that town. We have two such bridges – Clopton Bridge with its refurbished Toll House and the old mill next door to it – and the Tramway Bridge which once was a key piece of infrastructure for residents and businesses in times gone by.
Lucy’s Mill Bridge was just such a key bridge and if you’ve looked at the history (Link – Actions To Date) you’ll have seen that it has had several incarnations, including once being made of wood.
The Friends of Lucy’s Mill Bridge want to give the bridge a future where its used by everyone.
There are three options:
1) That the present bridge is modified – modifications which retain or offer as much of the style and design of the present build. There are Art Deco influences. The bridge was made of concrete – which for when it was built was quite innovative.
2) A new bridge is built close to the site of the present bridge
3) A new bridge is built which replaces the present structure
Elsewhere on this site you”ll be able to find info about how cost comes into each option – the minimum spend to have a structure which will last for a considerable time and has low maintenance costs then of course that if more design work is put into any of the above options, or special materials used, that the visual impact of the bridge will increase so people will want to go and see it – really to be impressed.
However, just the actual story of giving the bridge a proper future (and being accessible by everyone is just that – a ‘proper’ future) – this will make the bridge a tourist attraction, a town asset.
If somehow a new bridge was built with lots of respectful innovation, yes that would be notable and can be used year on year to say and show how our Town is a wonderful place – but if the solution is simply the most cost effective and simple renovations, that is a story that is worth telling and should continue to be told.
Do though think about how Lucy’s Mill Bridge is part of your everyday life – whether you use it regularly or just once in a while. Yes that it becomes a town asset is important, but that is helps all our residents and visitors enjoy and have practical access to all of the town – this is the key issue!