Gaol Ferry Bridge to close from April until the end of the year for repairs

Bristol City Council is to begin surveying bridge users as it draws up route diversions during closure

The Gaol Ferry Bridge - a main link for people on foot and bicycles between the city centre and south Bristol - will close from April until the end of the year for repairs.

The work will secure the long-term future of the bridge and will form part of a multi-million pound investment into the harbourside are, says the city council.

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It will include repairs to structural steelwork, replacing rotten timbers and repainting the bridge.

Work is due to start in April.

Being one of only two pedestrian bridges over the Avon New Cut, council officers are to survey users as they prepare diversionary routes during the closure.

The ornate suspension bridge was opened in 1935 and replaced a ferry service from south Bristol to the city’s old prison, which has since been demolished.

Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport, said: “The historic Gaol Ferry Bridge is a popular route linking pedestrians and cyclists from south Bristol to the city centre.

The Gaol Ferry Bridge will close for at least six months for repairs

“We need to carry out these essential works to ensure it remains safe to use now and for many years to come.

“This work is one part of a wider investment in the harbourside estate aimed at protecting the infrastructure and environment already in place and making the most of the area as a whole.”

Councillor Alexander said £15million of funding would be used to repair and maintain the five other bridges over the New Cut - Vauxhall Bridge, Langton Street Bridge, Sparke Evans Park Bridge, Bedminster Bridge and Bath Bridge.

He added: “This is about taking a long-term view of the work needed and making the investment now before issues arise.

“Our approach also supports our aim to get more people walking and cycling to ease congestion and reduce air pollution in the city. All six bridges are busy strategic routes into the city centre, used by thousands of people each day, and so it’s vital we maintain them properly.”

Funding of the multi-million-pound project has been earmarked by the West of England Combined Authority from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, provided by the Department for Transport.

Funds for the Gaol Ferry Bridge works will come from highways’ maintenance funding to ensure these repairs happen as soon as possible following inspection of all the bridges.

Recent repairs to the bridge were carried out to replace unsafe decking across the span of the bridge. This new decking will be preserved and reused during the works due to begin in April.