Hove: £500,000 to be spent on improving ‘inadequate’ railway bridge Brighton News

The footbridge over Hove Railway Station has faced criticism as it is not accessible to wheelchair users, people with buggies and train passengers with luggage.

The cost of maintaining the grade II listed 19th century bridge emerged during a question time session with councillors at Hove Town Hall last Thursday, December 14.

And at an earlier meeting, councillors were told that it would cost about £20 million to remove and replace the old bridge.

At the final Brighton and Hove City Council meeting of the year, Rohan Lowe, from the advocacy charity Speak Out, asked a couple of questions.

The Argus: Rohan Lowe at the council meetingRohan Lowe at the council meeting

Mr Lowe asked: “What ideas are being looked at on improving the current Hove Station footbridge … so that it is more accessible for people with disabilities?

“Given that the current station footbridge is close to a major visually impaired base and several supported living houses for people with disabilities, will the council be taking this into account?”

Labour councillor Trevor Muten said that the council had budgeted £250,000 for maintenance of the bridge both this year and next.

The council inherited its responsibility for the bridge from an agreement made in the 1880s between the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company and the Hove commissioners – forerunners of the council.

But while the council is meant to maintain the bridge, it remains in the ownership of Network Rail, along with all the railway track and other infrastructure.

The Argus: Councillor Trevor MutenCouncillor Trevor Muten

Councillor Muten, who chairs the council’s transport and sustainability committee, said the historic footbridge was built without the level of accessibility that would be required today.

The councillor, who represents Goldsmid ward which includes the Hove Station area, said: “We do need to take into account the local communities and those people who most need to get across this railway.

“It is really inadequate as the bridge does not provide accessibility options for many local residents and people who need to use the station.

“There is quite a lot to do to solve this and – as a ward councillor and chair of Transport and Sustainability – I am passionate about solving this.

“I’ll be working with Network Rail and other partners to get that accessible route across the station to make it much easier for everyone to cross.”

Last month a report to the committee suggested that removing and replacing the bridge would cost more than £20 million.

The report followed a residents’ deputation in July, calling for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the railway, linking the big new Moda Living site, in Sackville Road, with the station car park.

Moda Living has supported the suggestion of a new bridge by offering land and £70,000 towards design funding.

But as yet, there is no commitment from the council, Moda or Network Rail to design or construct such a bridge.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 16:00:00

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