Bridge set to be demolished this weekend

The anticipated removal of the Langwith-Alcuin bridge is to take place this Easter weekend, it has been revealed, in line with the plans to remove unsafe bridges across campus.

Demolition work will commence on the morning of Good Friday, 21st March, and is expected to be completed by the afternoon of Easter Monday, according to the Director of Facilities Management, Keith Lilley.

The work will result in the closure of University Road for the duration of the weekend, which would appear to explain the timing of the bridge’s removal, in an effort to minimise disruption.

The bridge, which provided a link to both Alcuin and the Library for students, has been closed since the beginning of this term due to structural concerns expressed in an inspection report.

Earlier in the term, the decision was taken not to replace the bridge as access to it did not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, and to adapt it to such needs would be “prohibitively expensive” according to Lilley, especially following the refurbishment of the Derwent-Chemistry bridge last year. The possibility of providing steps on the Alcuin side of the road has previously been mooted, but appears to have been shelved.

A similar fate is set to befall the other closed campus bridge, between Goodricke and Vanbrugh, with plans already underway for demolition and replacement – as well as possible relocation, closer to Central Hall – although it is not yet clear if or when this will take place.

In the last issue, Nouse reported Brian Cantor’s public denial that the construction of the new Heslington East campus is having a detrimental impact on the original site. But it seems that financial restrictions are influencing the decisions of those in charge of university facilities, with the effect of undermining one of the core features of the original campus design.


  1. its daft getting rid of it


  2. 18 Mar ’08 at 5:49 pm

    Matthew Pallas

    I fail to see how either replacing the bridge with steps or removing it altogether can be considered an improvement for disabled access.


  3. I’m not so sure it says that, Matt. The article says that the current [or not so current any longer] structure was not in line with disability laws and thus ridding the University of it would no longer make it liable to these laws.

    It does not claim to be improving access for disabled students, just that the previous arrangement was in breach of laws currently in place.


  4. “The possibility of providing steps on the Alcuin side of the road has previously been mooted, but appears to have been shelved.”

    Can I just ask from which information (from whom) you have gathered that the plans “have been shelved”?

    We (Alcuin College, the JCR, and Departments on this side of the road) are still very much in discussion with Facilities Management about this, so it seems strange that they should shelve our proposals without contacting us.


  5. 19 Mar ’08 at 3:05 pm

    The Grammar Fairy

    Little Danny Taylor, you simply won’t get your magical grammar fairy treats by horridly misusing those square brackets! Square brackets are used to enclose explanatory or missing material elsewhere in the document! To express optional (or supplementary) material, the humble parentheses shall suffice! Oh, look, I’ve used them myself! What a silly (yet grammatically correct) fairy I am!


  6. 19 Mar ’08 at 5:13 pm

    The Style Fairy

    Little Grammar Fairy, you simply won’t get your magical style fairy treats by horridly overusing those exclamation marks. Exclamation marks are the textual equivalent of the atom bomb – one (or, at most, two) will generally suffice in a text of this length, unless you’ve got something wildly exciting to communicate. However, I’m going to award you eleven out of ten for vigilance (and knowing which targets to pick).
    Style Fairy


  7. The grammar fairy: My laptop only has one working ‘)’ bracket working and thus I use the ‘[‘ ones because not one of them is jammed on my ageing laptop keyboard :)


  8. There is some confusion about the disabled access issue. The reason given for the decision not to replace the bridge is that it is inaccesible to wheelchair users. However, this calls into question the recent construction of steps from the road to Fresher’s Cafe, which I guess leaves open the possibility of steps being added at the Rowntree building for the sake of consistency of policy. However, a source so detailed as to mention landscaping work on the Langwith side of the bridge yet which makes no mention of the possibility of roadside steps, seems to imply that this possibility is not receiving much attention.


  9. 20 Mar ’08 at 5:51 pm

    James MacDougald

    Surely wheelchair access to the Fresher’s cafe is covered by the library ramp & bridge near costcutters…?