Thursday, June 11, 2015

RMS's proposed new Pedestrian Bridge over Beecroft Road

The BCCT has analysed RMS's answers about our concerns regarding the proposed pedestrian bridge south of the Beecroft Community Centre.

In view of the huge population shift happening at the north end of the shopping village, the Trust asked, "Is a bridge north of the Cheltenham Rd intersection a better option than one far down at the southern end of the village?"

In response, RMS say that a pedestrian bridge would "not be feasible at the intersection of Beecroft Road and Hannah Street" due to the possible need to acquire private property. The Trust believes that, if the Cheltenham Road or Hannah Street crossings are better locations from the road safety viewpoint, then the budget should be increased as required, rather than building the bridge where it won't help the majority of the population just because it's cheaper there.

The RMS response fails to address the question of advertising on the bridge. It appears that the bridge is being designed to accept the additional weight required for large billboards. Why would this extra design and construction cost be incurred, if for heritage reasons advertising will never be permitted on the bridge?

The consent authority for the bridge is RMS, not council. Once the bridge is built the advertising section in Finance will be under pressure to obtain the easy long term revenue stream from advertising in this prime location. Do we really want a massive illuminated billboard across Beecroft Road? Is this, even, the main motivation for the bridge? The Trust believes we need to get an unambiguous statement from the Minister that advertising will never be allowed on this bridge EVER. So far that assurance has not been given. The bridge design should be kept lightweight both to reduce costs andso that it can never be adapted to carry heavy advertising.

Residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham need to make their views known now, before the bridge is built in the wrong location and with built in capability to carry large advertising boards!

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