HOPES have been dashed that a long awaited railway crossing bridge would be built in Hamworthy this year.

Tenders came back at £1million and £1.3m for a pedestrian bridge across the little-used railway line, for which Borough of Poole has a budget of £600,000.

“I’m disappointed,” said Pat Bullock, chairman of the Friends of Hamworthy Park.

“A lot of people have been really looking forward to having that bridge and getting the little kiddies off the main road.”

Poole Council has been attempting to provide a rail crossing to Hamworthy Park since the Harbour Reach development was built in 2007 – and is hopeful it will be built next year.

Julian McLaughlin, head of transportation services said they had to comply with Network Rail’s list of companies for the tender.

However they now have to work with freight operator DB Schenker, who had leased the Hamworthy branch lines for 125 years and restrictions were less tight.

“We are really disappointed that the scheme through this first tender has been unaffordable,” he said.

However he was hopeful that the re-tender to a greater number of companies, would be successful.

Officers will be looking at ways of cutting down the cost, which could include reducing or removing lighting.

“All we want is a simple crossing – a second hand bridge, painted up to look nice would do,” said Pat.

Residents were hopeful the bridge across the railway line to the port would be built after it received planning permission in October last year.

Ward member Cllr Mike White said: “This is a further disappointment.

“But I think it is very much to the credit of the council that we are pressing ahead with this and have dedicated funds to this project ahead of developer funding coming from the main regeneration sites.”

Cllr Charmaine Parkinson, ward member said: “I trust that this is the last delay that residents will be subjected to and I look forward to finally seeing the bridge operational next year.”

Tender process

The budget includes a loan through Dorset LEPs Growing Places Fund.

The tender process has begun and new tenders will be sought over 12 weeks from September to November.

The contract could be awarded in November.

Work could begin on site in April 2015 with the bridge completed and open in August next year.