THE troubled Twin Sails Bridge could finally be back in “full operational order” before Christmas – if BCP Council’s latest phase of essential repair works go to plan.

In recent months the Poole crossing has been functioning at reduced speeds following a problem with the lifting mechanism.

This came after a pin and bearing within the dual-cylinder system on the Hamworthy side was removed as the council tried to resolve problems that had blighted the bridge’s operation in 2019.

The Twin Sails will be closed for five days from Monday, December 7, to allow a replacement pin and bearing to be installed.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, works have not been able to be undertaken during the national lockdown due to the already planned third party dredging works within the channel.

“We’re determined to return the bridge to full working order as soon as possible, both to restore its efficiency and to help us prevent further issues.

“We recognise the impact this closure may have on the local community whilst we carry out these essential works and bring the bridge back into full operational order.

“We would like to assure residents and businesses that every effort has been made to schedule these works so that they can be carried out as soon as possible and to keep the impact to a minimum.”

To carry out the latest works the bridge is due to be blocked off to motor vehicles from 7am on December 7 until 5pm on December 11, if the repairs run on schedule.

“The overall project is predicted to take seven days with the back-water channel closed to marine traffic from 10.30am on December 7 to 6.30am December 14.

The bridge will remain in a ‘down’ position and provide access for cyclists and pedestrians for the majority of the repairs.

Following the completion of these works, BCP Council said it will continue to monitor the performance of the fully operational bridge and undertake any maintenance required to avoid further issues arising in future.

Twin Sails Bridge, which opened in 2012, has been plagued with issues, racking up months of closures including from August to December last year.