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Plea for second Worcester city bridge ruled out by council's leadership
PLEAS for a new bridge in Worcester city centre have been ruled out by the county council - which says it is "not something" it would be prepared to back.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader of the Conservative cabinet, says it would cost too much money and finding the right location for it would prove problematic.
He also says he now feels some kind of flooding protection for Worcester's New Road should be a priority - insisting that the closure of that route has a terrible impact on traffic flow across the city.
New Road, where Worcestershire County Cricket Club's ground is based, has three lanes and it was shut off for several days last month along with the main Worcester Bridge when river levels burst their banks.
But Cllr Geraghty, cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said it was not on the agenda at County Hall.
During a meeting of the overview, scrutiny and performance board, he was challenged over the council's view on a new bridge.
He said the council would be looking at several big road projects over the next few years, but a second crossing "is not one of those schemes".
"One of the things we've always said we must do is look at the resilience of the (roads) network now the floods are over," he said.
"Clearly, as we saw at the time there does come a point when key routes can't be left open.
"If you look at New Road, for example, that's one route we'll be looking at carefully because if we can keep that open when we have flooding, it'll be a lot cheaper than building a second bridge.
"There is a section of New Road that we know does flood, and we must look at that as a priority as part of a multi-agency approach."
Councillor Richard Udall, who chaired the meeting, said: "If we can do that (protect New Road) we will achieve a lot.
"Clearly, New Road is closing a lot more regularly, it was shut in 2001, 2007 and now in 2014."
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