Run-down subway to close

By Tim Clarke Monday 26 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 09:24

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Buy photos » Coun Richard Udall described the recent flooding of the Tybridge Street subway as the final straw. 3812007MMR

A RUN-DOWN subway which has been blighted by flooding and anti-social behaviour is to close.

Highways bosses have agreed to temporarily shut the underpass on Tybridge Street for six months from January 14 after concerns were raised by St John's city and county councillor Richard Udall on behalf of residents living in the overlooking high rise flats.

If the closure proves successful in stamping out alleged problems of anti-social behaviour, including vandalism, the move could be made permanent.

We reported back in September how Coun Udall had written to highways bosses demanding it be closed after a broken drainage pump had left the subway flooded with water.

He had also argued it was no longer needed since the council had installed a pedestrian crossing on Tybridge Street over a year go.

Coun Udall kept pressing for a closure and has stumped up £2,000 from his own council members' fund to help finance the latest move.

He said “Residents living in the high-rise flats have had to put up with noise, anti social behaviour and vandalism from people abusing this subway. I hope the closure will give them some relief from the problems. The subway is damp, cold, smelly and a refuge for the anti social. People are afraid to use it, the legitimate users have been out-numbered by the illegitimate users for years. This is a clear victory for people power, the residents have finally gained closure”.

Mr Udall said he would be carrying out a consultation with residents to see if they wanted the closure to become permanent.

"The pedestrian crossing enables all pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter users to safely cross the road. The subway is redundant, it is not needed. It had become a nuisance and needed to close," he added.

A spokesman for the county council said closing the subway had been under consideration for some time due to flooding and repeated anti-social behaviour.

"This will allow time to assess whether anti-social behaviour is reduced through the closure, and whether a permanent closure is desirable," he said.

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