Campaign to save Clophill footbridge gathers momentum

A campaign to save Clophill footbridge after Central Bedfordshire Council announced it was to be removed as part of a traffic easing scheme is gathering momentum.

By Bev Creagh
Friday, 17th June 2022, 1:03 pm

More than 50 people took part in a protest on the bridge last week – which led to BBC 3CR presenter Justin Dealey interviewing organiser Dean Elcome for his programme.

Dean said: “There was a huge reaction – we had an avalanche of messages of support online with lots more people completing the survey on the CBC website opposing the plans.

"We had more than 20,000 views on social media and 15,000 more after the radio interview.

Protestors on Clophill footbridge

"We’ve also had lots of offers of support and people asking how they can help to make a direct impact.”

The IT consultant, who lives in Clophill, added: “We’re hoping local TV news will pick up the story and that it will make the national press.”

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He said the protest had been attended by a mix of villagers and those who live in the area and added: “We had old and young there, a complete cross section.

Dean Elcome (left) with BBC 3CR presenter Justin Dealey

"Everyone was in great spirits, it was a lovely sunny morning and passing cars were beeping their horns in support.

"One lady on an electric buggy told me if the bridge were removed, she would not attempt to use the toucan crossing. She said she’d be too intimidated trying to cross four lanes of traffic.

"The majority made it clear they thought the plans were utterly nonsensical.”

The proposed scheme, estimated to cost more than £7million, would see the removal of the bridge.

Protestors claim that widening the carriageways on all approaches to the roundabout would not only reduce paved areas but would also mean the removal of the bus stop by the Flying Horse pub.

They are also angry that there’s a proposal to build a public foot/cycle bridge over the A507 at Arlesey, which is on the same road.

Dean said: “In the last four years there have been two fatalities and five serious injuries on the A507 between Eagle Bend and Beadlow – one mile east of Clophill. Surely the money would be better spent on making that stretch of road safer?”