THE demolition of a Victorian railway bridge the same week a consultation about using former train tracks as cycle paths is being carried out has been branded “crazy”.
The knocking down of the Pontruffydd Bridge, which carried the now disused railway over the River Clwyd in Bodfari, was completed last week.
Bodfari resident Justin Hinchliffe said he and others in the village were disappointed to see the bridge go.
“It just seems a bit of a loss for the area really,” he said.
“You couldn’t walk over it because the trees there were so overgrown but it is a shame.
“It was a nice bridge and piece of history for our country which has been wiped out.
“Now it’s just a pile of rubble.”
BRB Residuary, the national body responsible for management and disposal of land and buildings which are surplus to the needs of the operational railway, decided to demolish the bridge because it had structural problems.
A spokesman for BRB confirmed this week that the structure had been knocked down because it was cheaper than maintaining it.
He added that the demolition had been completed but that workmen would stay on site for a couple of weeks.
Denbighshire County Council is currently consulting with residents about improving cycle paths in the Denbigh area.
Among the questions the authority is asking people is what they think about former railway track beds being used as cycle routes.
Justin said he feels it is a shame the bridge is now gone as he thinks it would have made a nice attraction on such a cycle path.
Fergus Murray from Llandyrnog also contacted the Free Press about the bridge and said: “If we are going to turn these railways into cycle paths why are they doing this?
“Denbighshire County Council needs to do these cycle paths if they are going to have sustainable tourism.
“It’s crazy, I am upset about it, it’s a dreadful lack of organisation and forward thinking by the council to allow this.
“We could have lots of interlinked cycle paths along the old railway lines taking in areas such as Corwen, St Asaph, Denbigh and Rhyl.”
He added: “This was a splendid bridge. By doing this they’ve basically ensured that the cycle path will become economically unviable.”
Back in 2011 there were fears demolishing the bridge would damage the local ecosystem, in particular the bat population in the area.
A spokeswoman for Denbighshire County Council said: “As far as bats are concerned the mitigation for the loss of roosting habitat proposed as part of the planning application was adequate so we had no grounds to stop the proposal in terms of ecology.”