Ugly Barriers on East Bridge now replaced with Bollards

Ugly barriers on East Bridge now replaced with Bollards

Essex County Council first installed concrete barriers on East Bridge, East Street in 2015 due to concerns over the structure of the bridge and supposed unauthorised parking. These were later replaced with red and white metal barriers. As time went on they became more and more of an eyesore, the metal drums were dented and the missing lids allowed them to be used as rubbish bins. Metal tubes along the tops were lost.  Not only the Civic Society but increasingly more and more residents expressed concerns, calling on ECC, as Highways Authority, to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing, permanent solution. East Bridge is, after all, locally listed for its heritage value, is one of the ancient gateways to the city and is an integral, important and highly sensitive part of the City Centre Conservation Area.

ECC admitted its maintenance of the barriers was not as effective as it should be and that it needed to step up and make sure the barriers and the bridge itself were kept in better condition but little if any action followed. In the meantime volunteers from the Society regularly took action. Both the north and south sides of the bridge were regularly cleared of litter, pavements and kerbs weeded and brushed clean; roadside gutters cleared of debris and brushed clean; over grown conifers and other greenery cut back and the safety barriers, horrible as they were, restored to their original positions by our members.

In 2015, an ECC spokesman stated in the Gazette newspaper that is was scheduling a future repair programme. In 2019, a spokesman stated in the Gazette that engineers would carry out a feasibility study in the 2019-2020 financial year to look at options for a better long term solution. These were great words but little action followed. We continued to push and press hard for updates but seemed to be making little progress. However, in March 2024, at long last, the unsightly ‘temporary’ barriers were removed and replaced with more permanent black ‘post’ bollards to almost universal acclaim. It has taken far, far longer than it should but the Civic Society didn’t give up. It was a long wait but in the end our perseverance paid off.

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