The bridge to nowhere? What next for Castlerock footbridge?

Castlerock Railway Station footbridge.
Castlerock Railway Station footbridge.

The future of Castlerock Railway station footbridge will be deferred for a month to allow Causeway Coast and Glens to consult with locals and garner their opinions.

Causeway Coast and Glens Council is responsible for the upkeep of the footbridge after the former Coleraine Council entered into a 10,000 year lease with NI Transport Holding Company.

Director of Environmental Services, Aidan McPeak, said: “The on-going deterioration of the materials used in its construction (wrought and cast iron) may be difficult to repair and may be prohibitively expensive.”

He added that Translink are currently undertaking work on the Belfast/Londonderry route which will make platform 2 redundant.

Members were asked to consider three options: To carry out repairs to the footbridge in situ with unknown costs and annual maintenance of £5,000; Remove the central span of the footbridge and complete a detailed condition report. Approximately £120,000; Permanently remove the bridge. There is no requirement for access between platforms as platform 2 is being removed but the historic relevance of the bridge must be considered. Cost £10,000.

Cllr Gerry Mullan asked if the local people in Castlerock had been consulted about the possible removal of the bridge. Mr McPeak said that there had been minimal contact with the community group in recent times on the issue.

Cllr Sam Cole then informed the meeting that he had been in contact with the community group and they had asked him to propose Option A, carrying out repair to the footbridge in situ.

Cllr Russell Watton said he had been at Castlerock station in August and was told that the bridge was “clean rotten”.

He added that if platform 2 was being removed the the footbridge would be a “bridge going nowhere” but stressed that the local community had to be consulted on the matter.