COUNCILLORS have “mockingly” celebrated the first birthday of incomplete repair works to a dangerous footbridge.

Essex Highways closed the Old Hythe footbridge, in Hythe Station Road, Colchester, last May following concerns over the structure’s integrity.

Earlier this week, Essex County Councillors for the Hythe area stood in Hythe Station Road to derisively mark a year of “no repair action”.

Lee Scordis, county councillor for the Hythe area, said: “We are now into a year of living with these roadworks and the closure of the bridge.

“In that time not a single engineer or surveyor has been seen. “Instead we have seen pollution rise with cars waiting for sometimes up to three minutes for their light to turn green, while seeing little evidence that the footbridge is at risk of collapsing. “Judging by previous highways projects like Ipswich Road roundabout and Cowdray Avenue Bridge, I worry that we will be waiting beyond 2023.”

Repairs are not set to be completed until the financial year of 2022/23 due to funding pressures, meaning the measures could be in place for more than three years before repairs are finished.

Mr Scordis added: “The scheme is a perfect example of the damage ten years of conservative cuts have had on this country, especially at a local government level.

“Councils simply do not have enough for major works like this. “It’s why we see the ugly red and white barriers on East Street and the metal fencing around the bridge on Cowdray Avenue. “Some end up being ignored for ten years until the council have no choice but to intervene.

“Things need to change.”

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “We have completed investigations on Old Hythe footbridge. This was unfortunately a complex and time consuming process. It is almost certain that we will have to replace the bridge with a new structure, as it would be more expensive and technically difficult to repair the and  much-deteriorated bridge. Several utility companies have pipes and cables which also run across the bridge which adds to the complexity of this project. We are currently in a pre-design stage for the new structure, which involves testing the feasibility of options.”