Northenden urges council to immediately ppen the Bailey Bridge over the River Mersey

  • Northenden residents protest Bailey Bridge closure
  • Nine Hundred residents have signed a petition for the council to open the bridge
  • City Council insists closure is linked to health and safety concern

Northenden residents have called on Manchester City Council to open the Bailey Bridge arguing that the closure has severely impacted accessibility to essential services and connections.

James Morris, a local resident deeply affected by the closure, emphasized the bridge’s pivotal role in connecting communities.

He said: “The bridge is actually a shortcut. The thing (the closure) cut the borders really bad.

“The reason why I used to go to the golf course, I’ve got quite a lot of clients over there. Like right now I can’t even speak to them. It’s just like a barrier, a kind of island.”

Closure protest

Olatunde Stence, echoing Morris’ sentiments, highlighted the dire consequences of the closure on individuals with disabilities.

“I have a friend who relies on an electric wheelchair. She can only get on to the bridge but can’t get over to the other side,” Stence explained.

“It’s a matter of basic accessibility and dignity.”

The protest, which has gained momentum in recent days, is fuelled by a shared sense of frustration and urgency among residents.

Elizabeth Bain who started the protest wrote on “Without the bridge, many friends, intergenerational and otherwise, between people common ground is this conjoined green space are fractures. Putting a stop to much face-to-face interactions and cross generation activities that makes our community thrive.”

She called on the council to reopen the bridge over the River Mersey for the sake of pedestrians, mobility users and cyclists.

The protest has received a total of 1,179 signatures.

Steve, a regular visitor to the bridge site, underscored the need for a comprehensive, long-term solution.

“Short-term repairs won’t cut it,” Steve remarked.

He said there was a need for a sustainable plan that not only restores the bridge but also strengthens it for the future.

“Why not the council seek for a long-term repair of the bridge? That way it will saves money.”

He agreed that health and safety is important, which is the main reason for the closure

Bridge closure notice

In the statement posted on the bridge, the council wrote: “Bailey Bridge, the main bridge link between Chorlton water park and Kenworthy woods, between Chorlton Park ward and Northenden ward has to be closed due to health and safety concerns.”

Manchester City Council faces mounting pressure to address the concerns residents and devise a solution that balances safety with accessibility.

The fate of the Bailey Bridge hangs in the balance, symbolizing not just a structural quandary but a test of the council’s commitment to its community’s welfare.

While not giving a timeline for the repair and reopening, the Council has provided a diversion map on the bridge. Efforts made to get the councillor to comment on the development as the protest is gaining more signatures have not been successful.