HAMPSHIRE County Council is to sign off the design for a replacement footbridge in

Radford Park so work can finally start on a new one.

The wooden narrow pedestrian footbridge was closed two years ago because it was unsafe.

Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council will initially meet the replacement cost of £45,952 from reserves.

But it will get the cash back via developers’ contributions currently held by East Hampshire District Council.

The parish council’s executive officer Peter Stanley said: “We have followed the recommendations of the county council and appointed a contractor for the bridge replacement.

“A replacement bridge will be constructed off site, while foundations are being laid in Radford Park. The bridge will then be delivered in one piece and fitted into place.”

The new bridge will be ready for use on April 21, although it’s official opening will be staged three days later.

It will have a guaranteed lifespan of 50 years, and will also include better access for the disabled, wheelchair users and mobility scooters.

The original wooden bridge was constructed 35 years ago in 1984 by a local craftsmen, including one of the current ground staff.

But in February 2017, the parish council was forced to close it after it was found to be unsafe. Later that year, the council said the bridge couldn’t be replaced straight away because it had turned out to be a more complex project, requiring approval from various agencies, as well as planning permission.

The bridge had a central role in the annual Dog Show and Duck Race fundraising event by Liphook Infant School Friends Association and Friends of Liphook Junior School, but for the past two years it has been held further along the River Wey.