PROTESTORS visited a council's headquarters to share their concerns over the uncertain future of a bridge. 

Members of the Save Witton Park Bridge group campaigned outside County Hall in Durham before they headed into a Durham County Council meeting to share their thoughts.

The Northern Echo: The protest came after Witton Park Bridge's temporary closure was extended indefinitelyThe protest came after Witton Park Bridge's temporary closure was extended indefinitely

Witton Park Bridge, near Bishop Auckland, was initially planned to shut for 20 weeks to allow Durham County Council to partially rebuild, clean, and paint it.

The main element of the proposed work involved blast cleaning and painting the existing steelwork.

Since the closure, a detailed assessment was carried out and it was confirmed the bridge was structurally unsound - the council said it must remain closed to all traffic.

Campaign spokesperson Nick Brown said: "The bridge is one of only two routes in and out of Witton Park. 

"We're here to protest the ongoing closure of Witton Park Bridge as the bridge was closed for repairs in July last year and was meant to reopen in December - yet it's still closed.

"We have now been told by the council that there are only four options and all of those options are more expensive than the council's entire bridge budget for the year.

"We are very disappointed with the situation and we feel we have been let down by the council and we're here to register our displeasure."

Brian Buckley, strategic highways manager at Durham County Council, said: “Last year, while undertaking scheduled repairs to Witton Park Bridge, we discovered serious structural defects, which left us with no choice but to extend the planned 20-week closure.

“Since then, a detailed assessment has confirmed the bridge is structurally unsound and must remain closed. A decision on the future of the bridge has not been made but we wanted to share with the public, especially the local communities most affected, the four options available and the associated costs.

“A report will be prepared to help the council consider and decide upon the best way forward.”