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Child safety fears scupper plans to removal of footbridge over A316 at St Margaret's

Transport chiefs say the bridge will stay for at least two years after more than 500 parents wrote opposing its removal

Councillor Ben Khosa (far left), Geoff Acton (second left) and Alexander Ehmann (far right) with fellow bridge campaigners

Plans to remove a footbridge at the A316 St Margaret's Roundabout have been dropped after prompting an outcry from parents worried about their children's safety.

Transport chiefs had proposed to replace the bridge, which is a stone's throw from Twickenham Stadium, with a toucan crossing to make it more accessible.

But more than 500 people objected to its removal on the grounds it could endanger pupils at neighbouring St Stephen's CofE Junior School.

Hundreds more people raised concerns about the impact on traffic at the busy junction and on safety for pedestrians of all ages, during a consultation last summer.

Transport for London (TfL) last week said the footbridge would now be retained and maintenance would be carried out, but warned that if the structure deteriorates significantly it may have to be closed without warning.

It plans to review the structure of the bridge in 24 months' time, but has promised to consult the public on any future proposals for its removal.

TfL will still install a toucan crossing to the west of the roundabout as originally proposed, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross. It said this would be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup this autumn.

The move was welcomed by Lib Dem ward councillors Alexander Ehmann, Ben Khosa and Geoff Acton, who had collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition opposing the move, and Twickenham MP Vince Cable, who also campaigned for the bridge's retention.

Mr Ehmann, ward councillor for St Margaret's and North Twickenham, said: "On behalf of residents, I'm delighted that TfL has seen the error of its ways and has committed to the maintenance of our bridge for at least another two years.

"Having secured this victory, Vince Cable and your local councillors will do all we can to ensure this TfL U-turn isn't a temporary stay of execution, but two more years means that countless young people will have access to a safe road crossing on their way to and from school."

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