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Public won’t pick up bill for Poole's Twin Sails problems
It leaves motorists and boat owners fuming but at least it is not costing them more in council tax.
All of the problems suffered by the Twin Sails Bridge so far – with the exception of reducing the volume of the warning sirens – are being corrected by the contractor at no extra cost to the council.
And Borough of Poole has no plans to take legal action against Hochtief, which built the £21.6million bridge that has been beset with problems since its delayed opening in April.
John Rice, engineering and maintenance manager, Borough of Poole said: “There is no question of taking action at this stage as it was inevitable that some issues would arise once the Twin Sails Bridge opened to traffic and our contractor, Hochtief, is making good progress with these.
“The progress made has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of bridge lifts that are cancelled or delayed. In fact, less than two per cent of scheduled lifts have been affected.”
He said: “The contractor and their key suppliers are fully committed to resolving all issues and are working extremely hard to resolve the outstanding defects. Council staff are continuing to work with them to ensure progress continues and disruption to the public is minimised.”
Residents complaints about loud sirens warning the bridge was to lift, particularly at 5.30am and late at night, led to them being turned down. As this was not a defect, paying for this was the responsibility of the council.
However some people remain unconvinced about the second harbour crossing, believing the problems experienced are just the beginning.
Ron Pearse, life vice-chairman of Poole Harbour Association, said his members fought hard against the bridge, which took away accesses to the harbour that fishermen and local people had used for generations.
“Poole had the chance to have a bridge along Holes Bay – this was never considered properly by council members past and present and now the public of Poole will have to suffer evermore,” he said.