ENGINEERS have set no date for when the broken £37 million Twin Sails bridge might be able to re-open.

Since Friday afternoon, the bridge has been closed while the council investigates the cause of a problem with the lifting mechanism on the structure’s Hamworthy leaf.

Residents said that they have become ‘resigned’ to disruption between Hamworthy and Poole due to problems with the two bridges.

Technical issues have plagued the harbour crossings in recent months, with Poole Bridge closed for a total of 19 weeks over the past year.

Last Friday afternoon, the Twin Sails Bridge was closed after a problem with one of the lifting mechanisms was identified.

Despite now being closed for almost a week, the council's head of growth and infrastructure, Julian McLaughlin, said that they did not know when it might be ready to re-open.

“The Twin Sails Bridge has been out of operation due to a problem affecting the lifting mechanism on the Hamworthy side of the bridge.

"Since then the council has been working with its engineering sub-contractors to investigate the fault.

"Following initial inspections, the advice from the sub-contractor is that the council should not operate the bridge until further, more detailed inspection of the lifting mechanism can be carried out.

“Until this complex piece of work is carried out, we are unable to give a clearer indication of the options and timescales for re-opening the bridge."

Bournemouth Echo:

Bill Constance, chairman of Poole Quays Forum, said that people had ‘resigned’ themselves to travel disruption.

“They’ve actually fenced off the approach at West Quay Road, so it looks a bit more long-term,” he said.

“Quite frankly people feel resigned to disruption with bridge closures between Hamworthy and Poole – it seems to be an ongoing story which I know is causing a lot of distress to people.”

He added that the lack of information provided by the council to residents was ‘disrespectful’.

“What is particularly vexing about this is that we don’t know anything, and we are not being told anything,” he said.

“And I think that is disrespectful to people, we are all grown up, we need to understand what is going on. As rate payers that is a reasonable thing to expect.

“I have some sympathy for the fact both bridges are mechanical and they do break down, we have to accept that.

“What I cannot accept is that there is no information at all – I think that is quite disrespectful to residents, to the long-suffering people of Hamworthy who have had nearly two years of disruption. They deserve better .”