When it became obvious that the council would not be replacing the footbridge any time soon, we approached North Wales Tourism for support. They promised to put some pressure on Gwynedd Council but weeks went past with no news.
By law, councils are required to evolve a specific policy for the maintenance of public rights of way. This must be updated and published every ten years. Gwynedd Council’s policy states that they will prioritise well-publicised routes.
After waiting for a few months for North Wales Tourism to work their magic, it became obvious that nothing was going to happen. We suspected that the principle issue was money and so offered to start a crowdfunding campaign to at least partly finance the bridge. We still couldn’t make any progress.
There was only one other thing we could do and that was go to the press.
Thankfully, the Daily Post was interested in the story and came to see us almost immediately. A few days later, they published an article online complete with photographs of me looking suitably annoyed and a video of me explaining the importance of the bridge. This piece was followed by the publication of an article in the newspaper.
I would like to point out that the Daily Post gave me approximately 30 seconds’ warning that they were going to video me so please excuse my scruffy appearance and poor performance on camera!
The day after the article was published, surveyors from the council arrived and began preparing for the new bridge! A couple of weeks later we were informed that the bridge would be installed 2nd – 11th October 2019. Wow!
As Natural Resources Wales had insisted that the construction of the bridge was completed by 11th October, we stupidly thought that it would be. We contacted the guests who had booked stays in the apartments during the period of construction to warn them that they might experience minimal disruption.
Unfortunately, the project took much longer than expected.
We should have seen that coming!
Six weeks after work started, we still didn’t have a bridge.