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Critical cycle path remains closed indefinitely as wait for funding continues

A substantial section of the Five Weirs Walk along the River Don has been closed since flooding in 2019, but the Council say they don’t yet have the money to fix it.

The Bailey Bridge geograph 3669971

A remaining section of the Five Weirs Walk near Attercliffe.

Graham Hogg on Wikimedia Commons.

A major cycling and walking link along the River Don remains closed after nearly two years due to a lack of funding for repairs.

A stretch of the Five Weirs Walk between the city centre and Attercliffe has been shut since it was severely damaged by floods on 7 November 2019.

Precious metals manufacturer Thessco own the land underneath this part of the Five Weirs Walk, which is next to their factory, and usually open it to walkers and cyclists as a permissive right of way. Responsibility for maintaining the route itself falls to Sheffield City Council.

Thessco told Now Then their agreement with the Council means that the route is usually open from one hour after daybreak to one hour before nightfall.

After three large sections of the concrete structure holding the walkway fell into the river during the floods, the company closed off access to the route and informed the Council.

But they say they heard nothing back about when the walk would be repaired and reopened until a few months ago, when campaign group CycleSheffield began querying progress on repairs.

Minutes from a November 2019 meeting of the Sheffield Cycle Forum states that “it was confirmed that some of [the damage caused to the route] may be covered by the Streets Ahead Amey contract.”

But Councillor Paul Wood, Executive Member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management, told Now Then that the walk isn’t one of the “adopted highways” fully subcontracted to Amey under the terms of the controversial contract.

“The Council do pay Amey to undertake repairs and maintenance of the Five Weirs Walk but this does not cover significant structural repairs such as the reinstatement of the riverbank and pathway following the significant flood damage,” he said.

“We are committed to finding a way forward and a permit has now been secured from the Environment Agency to enable additional site investigations to be undertaken from within the river.

“This will assist us in developing a detailed understanding of the cost and method of the repairs required, and will inform our approach to identifying a suitable funding source for the full scheme of repairs,” he continued. “Whilst a longer term solution is developed we will continue to monitor the site to ensure it is not causing a flood risk and that it remains secure.”

No timeline was provided by Cllr Wood about when work may take place.

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