Valley Bridge, Scarborough – still raining metal
- an update on the never-ending Valley Bridge negligence saga, by John Henderson
Some of our readers might remember our report on the issues of Valley Bridge, and the lack of repairs.
Recently, the Scarborough News published a story about a man in Scarborough who found quite a large piece of metalwork that had come from the bridge.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd, who is the Executive Member for Highways & Planning Services at North Yorkshire County Council, became famous for being more interested in his evening meal, than for the huge pieces of metal work falling from the bridge.
As can be seen in the article on the Scarborough News website, it appears that an anonymous North Yorkshire County Council spokesperson seems to be contradicting the young man in the article – essentially calling him a liar.
It’s quite wrong that our public servants behave in such a manner, but I am sure that they will have some clever words to explain why it is that they aren’t contradicting Mr Henderson (no relation), and they are simply conveying the “facts as they see them”.
Recently, however, it was brought to my attention that some “maintenance” work was being carried out on Valley Bridge, so I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. Much to my surprise I did indeed spot a gentleman, who was wearing a high visibility jacket, and was sweeping the balustrades along the lengths of the bridge.
For what seems like the first time in twenty years, the bridge has seen some maintenance – albeit just a little bit. But, as some might rightly argue, ‘some’ is better than ‘none’ (as we have had for twenty years). You might remember the images first brought to the public’s attention through the YouTube videos (One, Two, and Three) showing how badly muck and debris was building up on along the balustrades… So bad was the problem that plants were able to take hold in the ever deepening build-up.
Some of our readers might remember that when we first exposed the story, Scarborough Borough Council rapidly changed their tune (and their website) and renounced all responsibility for the maintenance of Valley Bridge, and passed the buck swiftly to North Yorkshire County Council – where still nothing was done.
What was most surprising to me was that the workman was wearing a Scarborough Borough Council jacket – indicating he was an employee of Scarborough Borough Council. Now, you might remember that SBC washed their hands of the bridge and the highway thereon when we first started to break the story of the neglect of such an important structure.
Yet here we had an employee of SBC going about his business and sweeping the balustrades. Sadly this gentleman declined to be photographed for this article, but he had spent the better part of the day sweeping up the dirt and scraping out the cracks and joins in the paving slabs.
It has to be said, that the bridge looks a lot better as a result.
Despite this though, we are told by the Scarborough News that NYCC are in the process of handing out a huge contract for work to repair the bridge. Yet we have still had no word from County Councillor Gareth Dadd, or any of the other Public Servants, whom we employ, as to why this structure spent twenty years being neglected.
Councillors are allowed to double-dip on their expenses, enjoy free lunches at County Hall, but we can’t even have our roads and structures repaired. Something is deeply wrong here…
The question is, NYCC - what are you going to do about it?
Despite asking for a clear answer about why the bridge has been neglected for twenty years, I have yet to receive a satisfactory response – even from the main man at NYCC, Mr John D. Smith…
How much longer will we be kept waiting?