A campaign to save an ‘iconic’ city footbridge from demolition has all but failed after the council confirmed works will start on a replacement crossing.

Leazes Footbridge in Durham City was closed last July after a routine inspection by Durham County Council identified structural issues.

In March the council said the bridge, which spans the busy A690 near Gilesgate roundabout, was “beyond economical repair” and its website confirms a contractor will be brought in to demolish it.

Works will begin on Tuesday (May 28) on a “new pedestrian crossing and cycleway” to replace the bridge.

It leaves a campaign by residents to save what has been branded an iconic crossing from the bulldozers.

In February campaigner Debbie Hills, who can see the structure from her home, told the Echo she feared how dangerous crossing the A690 could be for pedestrians without a bridge.

The Northern Echo: Debbie Hills at the bridge. Debbie Hills at the bridge. (Image: The Northern Echo)

“We know how dangerous the crossing is and how much the bridge is used and loved. I just feel incensed,” she said previously.

After an initial temporary closure notice was erected in August last year another one was posted on February 1. It included a line from the council that said the bridge would be closed “to enable footbridge repair works to be undertaken.” But just four days later the council announced it would be demolished.

While there is no immediate risk of the footbridge collapsing, this could change if the bridge remains in position, the council previously said.

The Northern Echo: Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy.Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy.

Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy has been campaigning with residents to keep a bridge over the A690.

She said: “I know how concerned residents are about the removal of the Leazes footbridge. I know that several residents have paid for, produced and presented to the council their own structural report on the bridge which shows that Durham County Council is in fact making a decision based on flawed information.

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“Unfortunately, this is just another example in the last five years of DCC and the leadership simply not listening to residents’ concerns and pushing ahead with their own agenda.

“The bridge may well be going and we fought and fought to keep it. It doesn’t mean that that fight is over. Clearly, it’s really important for residents that we have a bridge there and I will be pushing the council every step of the way to review their decision and if that bridge comes down then I will be pushing them to replace it with something just as iconic in the city centre.”