Campaign News: Revealed: The Bowstring Bridge 'Dodgy Dossier'
More on this Campaign: Save the Bowstring Bridge
23 November 2007
Leicester Civic Society has
obtained a copy of the April 2005 council consultants' report which details the costs
of repairing the Bowstring
Bridge.UPDATE: Click here to download the city council's April 05 bridge inspection report (4Mb)
Inexplicably, the cost of demolition is blanked out.
report costings pages (click to enlarge):-
We can reveal that the 'astronomical' £2.5 million repair cost recently published in the
Leicester Mercury was to bring the bridge back to full transport load bearing
capacity - something which is entirely unnecessary. The report gives a far
lower cost of £775,000 for repairing the bridge to own-weight bearing capacity only.
We now challenge the council to disclose the demolition costing in this report
as it is clearly now in the public interest. We will be complaining to the
Information Commissioner if they do not comply with this request.
Leicester Civic Society would also like answers to the following questions:-
1. Why is the demolition figure blanked out? Is it not the case that this
hidden demolition figure is in fact relatively close to the cheaper repair
2. Why did Leicester City Council release this report but refuse to give the demolition figures claiming 'commercial
sensitivity' as a reason despite Freedom of Information Act and
Environmental Information Regulations Act requests (the latter of which
does not allow commercial sensitivity to preclude disclosure).
3. Why are the other costs in the report not classed as 'commercially
sensitive' and also blanked out?
4. If, as can be inferred from these actions, the council has never had any
other intention other than demolition, why did they waste taxpayers' money producing
the 57-page report in the first place?
5. If the cost of repairing the bridge is not affordable how is it that repairs
costing the council £745,000 have now commenced on the Glenfield Tunnel?
6. What effort has the council made to explore the "bridge adoption by
third parties" option detailed in the report? Surely the
difference between the repair and demolition costs is a drop in the ocean
compared to the projected £6 million costs for new DMU sports centre?
7. Why is this 'Bridge Inspection Report' peppered with subjective comments such as "The bridge is of no value to Leicester City Council as it does not serve any purpose" and "it would appear that there is a lack of interest to preserve this bridge that was once a local landmark"? Were the consultants briefed to make such comments?
8. Why was only the larger full repair figure released to the press?