The re-opening of the replacement Moss Swing Bridge in Rodley has been delayed again until ‘well into November’, WLD understands.
As previously reported by WLD, a new Moss Swing Bridge over the canal is being built to link to a planned housing development in Rodley. It was supposed to be installed and open by May, but work had failed to progress as expected.
The delay has caused concern to volunteers at both Rodley Cricket Club and Rodley Nature Reserve, which both rely on the bridge for easy access.
According to an e-mail circulated by developer Dynamic Capital, the finishing date for the bridge has slipped again due to the ‘complex’ nature of the bridge works, and it’s likely to be ‘well into November’ before work is finished.
However, it’s feared locally that work could well continue into December given the amount of work
Rodley Nature Reserve Jeremy Knapp was disappointed with the latest delay. He said: “The last date for completion we had been given of 17 October is clearly now impossible. We suspect that completion is unlikely before mid November, possibly later.
“We remain open one day a week (Sunday) for now and would like to return to three-day opening but can’t do so until our access is back to normal. This has all been very damaging for us and we are very grateful to our brilliant volunteers for their enormous efforts to keep the reserve functioning.”
The latest delay was met with disappointment by Councillor Kevin Ritchie (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley). He said: “I am disappointed that the bridge opening has been delayed again. Both the nature reserve and cricket club are understandably frustrated over the latest delays.
“Local councillors will keep working with them and council planning officers to make sure that their concerns are addressed.”
For several years the adjacent Airedale Mills site has been identified for housing development and outline planning permission approved the principle of building housing there three years ago.
The proposals included improved bridge access across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which has resulted in the closure of the access route into the Reserve, the cricket club and the canal towpath.
Developers have previously said they were doing all they can to minimise disruption to the community and said they would pay compensation to both the nature reserve and the cricket club. They also argued that the old bridge was ‘near the end of its life’ and ‘not in a good condition’ and the new bridge would last for the next 120 years.