Councillors row over who gets credit for Bedser Bridge

THE dust has yet to settle, but already the council are at odds over who should receive credit for the installation and design of the new Bedser Bridge.

The sparkling new walkway was opened to the public on Monday, with building work carried out alongside the construction of the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Centre in Brewery Road.

Leader of the council John Kingsbury has already expressed his delight at the path’s opening and believes the bridge plays a vital role in linking Horsell with the town centre.

He said: “During the design process, we listened and acted upon residents’ concerns which led to a bridge we should all be proud of, and is good for local residents, good for town centre businesses and good for visitors to Woking.”

But his comments struck a nerve with Lib Dem councillors who feel it was their input, and not that of the council’s Conservative contingent, who helped shape the design and construction of the bridge.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker (right) said: “The initial design looked more like a concrete bridge you’d see going over a motorway.

“It was only after a huge petition of more than 2,000 responses that the leader of the council turned around and said this needs to change.

“It took a long time and a lot of action from residents to get the design changed, but now I think the bridge fits nicely into its
surroundings.

“It is very accessible, thanks to the new split-level design.”

The bridge was named in honour of Horsell cricket heroes Alec and Eric Bedser.

Alec was a former England international and previous chairman of selectors for the national squad before his death back in 2010.

Twin brother Eric, who died in 2006, was only selected once by his country but is regarded as one of the best English bowlers of the 20th century.

The council is currently in the process of commissioning two statues, one of each twin, that will be incorporated on plinths either side of the canal. The bridge will also allow split-level access to the WWF’s Living Planet Centre once complete.

The centre, along with the rest of Brewery Road car park, is set to open later this year.

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