Elland victims of Boxing Day floods complain over lack of help over bridge closure

 

Elland Bridge still under repair.

By Matt Guy

NEARLY 15 months after Elland Bridge collapsed, local business owners claim they still have not received any help from the council.

Businesses in Elland, near Halifax, have been calling for compensation, saying a lack of footfall across the town hugely decreased their profits.

Joanne Holmes, co-owner of ladies fashion shop Ciella, said:
“It was like a ghost town.

“There was supposedly money set aside for local businesses connected to the flooding. Who got this money I don’t know.

“Apparently there was £3 million given to Calderdale, but nobody’s got anything.

“I’ve spoken to the other businesses down the street and nobody got any of this money. Where is that money?”

The closure of the bridge stopped traffic joining the B6114 to
enter Elland via the Elland by-pass (A629) or Park Road (A6205), which is the main road in the town.

Elland bridge was closed on December 26 after the 2015 Boxing Day floods, caused by Storm Eva and Storm Desmond. It was re-opened to traffic on February 8, nearly 14 months later.
£5 million of government funding was given for the restoration of Elland Bridge. With £500,000 funding for a British-built temporary interim footbridge alongside.
The money was in addition to £3.3 million provided by the government to repair Tadcaster Bridge in North Yorkshire
Nearly £200 million was given in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond, with £50 million to repair and improve flood defences since Storm Eva alone.

 

Coun Angie Gallagher said: “During the closure it was like a ghost town. I don’t deny the businesses probably had a hit.

“Elland is in the process of trying to attract more people. We have the businesses in Elland, but the centre needs investment.”

However, less than a month after the bridge re-opened to traffic on February 8, the bridge needed more repairs after a water main burst last week.

Park Road and Elland Bridge were both under two-way traffic light control, once again
slowing the flow of traffic through the town.

Coun Gallagher said: “The repairs were done quicker than expected, it was not half as bad as I thought it would be.”

After opening to traffic last month, the bridge is set for an official re-opening on April 2.

Coun Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s leader, said: “We’re really excited to announce the date of the grand reopening of Elland Bridge – put it in your diary as it will be a fantastic day to remember!

“The event will not only mark the official reopening of the bridge and canal, it will also bring people together from all parts of the local community to have lots of fun.”

 

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