Fight to keep footbridge

The state government’s plans to tear down a pedestrian bridge over the railway at Woodford has raised the ire of Blue Mountains City councillors.

At the council meeting last week, Cr Romola Hollywood moved a motion as a matter of urgency, that council write to Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, raising concern at the proposed demolition of Woodford Memorial Park footbridge.

The council would point out that Roads and Maritime Service had in 2014 thought it necessary to "retain and upgrade the current railway pedestrian bridge to retain the through access to the site".

The council would also like to assess the historical significance of the pedestrian bridge, with the view to including it in the heritage section of the Local Environment Plan 2015.

“It needs to stay. It’s part of the plan for Memorial Park,” Cr Hollywood said.

“It’s churlish of Sydney Trains to remove it. It is a heritage item.”

Cr Chris Van der Kley said it could be a matter of doing up the steps, which had been neglected, so the bridge could stay.

Locals say the historic footbridge is used daily and is an important historic pedestrian link from the train station and village centre to the start of the historic ‘loop bushwalk’ - Wilson's Glen.

Removing access to the bridge would also add more than a kilometre of additional walking to residents’ existing walking routes.

In February a spokesman for Sydney Trains told the Gazette: “With dedicated pedestrian access on the Park Road bridge, the Memorial Park pedestrian bridge will be removed, however no decision has been made on timing.”

The current bridge dates back to 1958 but there are photos showing a bridge on the site in 1919. 

When residents learnt it was to be removed, they tied red ribbons to it and local artist Rhett Brewer said he was moved to paint it.

- with Jennie Curtin