Network Rail (NR) have announced that the public consultation on a new footbridge for Strathbungo has decided in favour of design A, which nods to the design of the current bridge and allows Strathbungo residents to maintain the fine old tradition of waving at the trains.
However, we still don’t know where the bridge is to be situated. The local consensus appears to be that the bridge be re-sited at the end of Marywood Square, where one existed until the end of the 1990s.
The Society met with Network Rail in early August to discuss this and associated issues of the road bridge on Nithsdale Road, where Susie’s still stands, though not for much longer (demolition is scheduled for early 2022). Network Rail have a deadline of 2023 to get electric trains on the tracks. This means all timescales are tight but it seems much has still to be determined.
Moving the footbridge was raised and their engineering spokesperson said that he had done a location visit at Queens Square but had not investigated the original site of the Marywood Square bridge, which seems odd! There seemed little resistance in principle to the idea of re-locating the new footbridge but the feasibility is in question. Where the engineer investigated at Queens Square, they felt there was no safe pedestrian access to it, as it is sited on a semi-chicane T-junction with narrow pavements on the Moray Place side at the Queens Square junction. NR believed that the same would apply at the top of Marywood Square. However this is not the case. Where the previous bridge landed at Marywood, the infrastructure is intact with a pavement as wide as at the existing bridge, but considerably longer and with the advantage of overhead lighting. It also provides safer access to Pollokshields, in that this site is nearer the pedestrian crossing across Darnley Road.
Questions were also asked about the road bridge at Nithsdale Road. Given the state of the bridge, it is not surprising that it is to be replaced but the new road bridge will replace the deck only – not the superstructure at either end that holds it up – and will remove the ‘temporary’ props under the bridge. The new deck will be thinner from top to bottom than the present to raise the clearance. There was also discussion about the replacement parapets, ensuring that they are suitable in a conservation area .
For the Society, there are major concerns about how the new road bridge will be configured . Currently it is a two-lane road, one in either direction, due to weight restrictions. However, with new commitments by the Council to active travel, we are keen to enter into discussions with them about the road design. It will also be important to have a footbridge before the road works start, or crossing the railway will have to be done via Titwood Road or Albert Drive. As things stand, we are seeking the urgent engagement of council officials in the Planning and Roads departments to seek solutions that suit the Strathbungo area .