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Sandwich Toll Bridge fails to close prompting calls to Kent County Council to speed up restoration

By Eleanor Perkins

A problematic swing bridge remains closed to road traffic after a mechanical failure stopped it from closing.

Sandwich Toll Bridge, which runs over the River Stour, has not been reliably opened since December due to hydraulic and control issues.

Last night around 5.30pm it was opened to allow a vessel to pass through but could not be closed and remains that way.

Sandwich Toll Bridge is closed to vehicles (12061050)
Sandwich Toll Bridge is closed to vehicles (12061050)

It is causing issues to both road traffic, which is being diverting via the A256 Sandwich Bypass. and pedestrians who walk or cycle from the town to Discovery Park.

Calls are now being made to Kent County Council to speed up repair work.

Nicholas Gray, a Sandwich resident and a Commissioner of the Sandwich Port and Haven Commission said: “Once again the people of Sandwich are having to cope without their bridge.

"It failed to close on Sunday evening having been opened to let a boat through. Luckily for river users it has stuck in the open position but this is obviously a major problem for traffic within the town.

"It is also a huge problem for the many pedestrians who walk from Sandwich to Discovery Park and for those living on the far side of the bridge.

"Hopefully this incident will focus the minds at KCC to speed up the promised full restoration of both the mechanical and manual operating modes.

"We do not at present know when the bridge will be operational again.”

Sandwich Toll Bridge has not been operating properly since December
Sandwich Toll Bridge has not been operating properly since December

Boat users John and Dorothy Haynes, who live on-board cabin cruiser Letitia Jean, were unable to leave the town in February because the bridge would not open.

In May, Kent County Council (KCC) confirmed it is looking into a major overhaul to repair the problematic single lane swing bridge.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: “Ramsgate Road is closed at the Sandwich toll bridge due to a mechanical failure.

“Sandwich toll bridge currently remains open to river traffic only.

“Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is currently diverted. The closure will remain in place until a repair can be carried out.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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