Objection to Transporter Bridge being closed during the winter

South Wales Argus: SET TO CLOSE FOR WINTER: Newport's Transporter Bridge SET TO CLOSE FOR WINTER: Newport's Transporter Bridge

THE iconic Newport Transporter Bridge should be kept open throughout the year.

That’s according to the friends of the bridge group, which has launched a petition objecting to the seasonal closure of the structure and formally objected to council plans to close it.

Newport council wants to develop the bridge as a tourist attraction, with officers arguing it was no longer needed as part of the city’s transport infrastructure.

Under changes decided in April the bridge will close at the end of September and will reopen in Easter.

But Friends of the Newport Transporter Bridge’s chairman and former Lib Dem councillor David Hando says the structure is of immense importance to the heritage of Newport.

“We should make the most of it, not just tuck it away,” he said.

Mr Hando has written to cabinet member for leisure and culture Debbie Wilcox to formally object to the scheme.

He said: “It’s such an integral part of the history of the city.

“It is almost unique. There are only 18 ever built and only eight still exist, but only six of them are working.

“I think we have an obligation to open it, at weekends and bank holidays at the very least.”

He said the group would keep the bridge’s visitor centre open throughout the year from 10am to 4pm, whether the bridge is open or not.

Mr Hando had been part of the former council administration’s cabinet when the decision to go to seasonal closure was taken last April.

However the decision had been taken by his cabinet colleague and former Lib Dem councillor Mike Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton decided visitors would pay £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for concessions, allowing for unlimited crossings, access to the high level walkway and a guided tour of the motorhouse.

It will open Wednesdays to Sundays.

Newport council could not provide a comment last night.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:07pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Gareth says...

If he is serious about the tourist attraction route, then fine, let's treat is as such: do the research into the size and demographic of the potential market; establish what price the market would be confident to pay; decide whether that would give us a plausible ROI; come up with the marketing plan; decide IN ADVANCE what the success criteria would be; and then decide whether the project is a worthy investment opportunity.

...just like any other decent tourist attraction does.

It the facts sustain his argument, and i hope they do, then fantastic. I would love to see it open as a tourist attraction. But let's base it on research and fact, not purely sentiment.

Of course, should we prefer to keep it open for sentimental reasons, then that's fine too, but then you can't look at it as a tourist attraction.

Try to do both and we end up with a bridge that costs a fortune to run, has a minimal and haphazard marketing budget, ends up with few visitors and everyone looking for someone else to blame.

Notes to Mr Hando:

1) Nothing can be 'nearly unique'. It either is or isn't.

2) Not this story per sé, but just because Eastern European workers, foreign students at the university, and the odd groups visiting Wales from abroad may have used the bridge, it's a clumsy leap to use this as proof that "the bridge attracts visitors from around the world."
If he is serious about the tourist attraction route, then fine, let's treat is as such: do the research into the size and demographic of the potential market; establish what price the market would be confident to pay; decide whether that would give us a plausible ROI; come up with the marketing plan; decide IN ADVANCE what the success criteria would be; and then decide whether the project is a worthy investment opportunity. ...just like any other decent tourist attraction does. It the facts sustain his argument, and i hope they do, then fantastic. I would love to see it open as a tourist attraction. But let's base it on research and fact, not purely sentiment. Of course, should we prefer to keep it open for sentimental reasons, then that's fine too, but then you can't look at it as a tourist attraction. Try to do both and we end up with a bridge that costs a fortune to run, has a minimal and haphazard marketing budget, ends up with few visitors and everyone looking for someone else to blame. Notes to Mr Hando: 1) Nothing can be 'nearly unique'. It either is or isn't. 2) Not this story per sé, but just because Eastern European workers, foreign students at the university, and the odd groups visiting Wales from abroad may have used the bridge, it's a clumsy leap to use this as proof that "the bridge attracts visitors from around the world." Gareth

3:19pm Fri 21 Sep 12

plumbob says...

Mr Hando states we have a duty to open it at weekends and bank holidays.
As it is proposed to close it from the end of September until Easter the only bank holidays are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Will anyone want to use it on those days?
Will it take Reindeer and a sleigh?
Mr Hando states we have a duty to open it at weekends and bank holidays. As it is proposed to close it from the end of September until Easter the only bank holidays are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Will anyone want to use it on those days? Will it take Reindeer and a sleigh? plumbob

3:30pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Gareth says...

okay, i'll bite: Santa would only use it on Christmas Eve ...which isn't a bank holiday.

Taxi!

:-)
okay, i'll bite: Santa would only use it on Christmas Eve ...which isn't a bank holiday. Taxi! :-) Gareth

12:25am Sun 23 Sep 12

newportpaul says...

I think if the high level walkway was allowed to be used more than it is now like back in the 80's when I was a kid before the bridge was closed then more money would be generated.
Rather than allowing people only to walk over the high level walkway twice a year.
I think if the high level walkway was allowed to be used more than it is now like back in the 80's when I was a kid before the bridge was closed then more money would be generated. Rather than allowing people only to walk over the high level walkway twice a year. newportpaul

5:22pm Sun 23 Sep 12

chris227 says...

cannot see all the fuss over this bridge its hardly london bridge or clifton suspension bridge but it does fit in with the rest of newport dirty and scruffy.
cannot see all the fuss over this bridge its hardly london bridge or clifton suspension bridge but it does fit in with the rest of newport dirty and scruffy. chris227

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree