A MIDDLEWICH businessman is campaigning for the repair and reopening of a damaged footbridge over the Trent and Mersey canal.

Simon Lincoln, of Pennymoor Drive, is calling on fellow residents to sign a Change.org petition to repair the canal bridge at the Big Lock which has been closed to the public since February.

The 47-year-old dad of two, whose family regularly uses the canal to head into the town or walk their two pet dogs, says he was prompted to launch the petition after his wife Victoria almost slipped into the canal when using the narrow lock gate plank bridges to cross the water.

Winsford Guardian:

Simon said: “This bridge has been closed for almost eight months and needs sorting now. It’s not only causing a massive inconvenience for residents, but it is also extremely dangerous, given the only way to cross the canal is to shimmy across the lock itself.

“Cheshire East Council and the Canal and River Trust really need to get this sorted before someone gets seriously hurt.”

The original traffic notification from Cheshire East Council in February stated the bridge should only take 21 days to repair but in April the Canal and River Trust confirmed there was no fixed timescale to repair the bridge.

Simon, who runs Simon Lincoln Recruitment Solutions, added: “It’s not good enough really which is why I thought I’d take to the internet and set up the petition. Hopefully with the power of many voices we can do something about it. If we don’t speak up, then it just won’t be a priority.”

Days after setting up the petition, which currently has 127 of its 200-signature target, Simon received a response from the CRT’s customer support team informing him a new bridge design has been approved and is awaiting planning permission from CEC.

Winsford Guardian:

They said: “Our scaffolding contractors and their specialist designers have been working hard to overcome challenging site constraints in order to design and install the temporary bridge.

“As this is a bespoke structure accessible to the public, we are obliged to ensure that the design meets stringent safety criteria. The bridge design has been complicated by site ground conditions and underground obstructions and this has impacted the duration of the design and checking process.”

To sign Simon’s petition visit change.org/p/canal-river-trust-repair-canal-bridge-by-big-lock-middlewich