A MUCH-USED bridge in a Dawlish park will be replaced, it has been confirmed.

The footbridge at Manor Gardens has been closed to the public for months due to safety concerns.

Regular park users have repeatedly been calling for it to be repaired or replaced. Since it has been out of action, walkers have had to make detours to cross the river.

Now, Mayor Dawlish Rosie Dawson says a ‘positive’ meeting has been held with officers from Teignbridge Council, which is responsible for the bridge.

A fallen tree meant a periodic inspection, which takes place for all bridges in the town, was brought forward. Structural surveyors discovered ‘significant’ safety concerns due to the bearers underneath the bridge being found to be rotten.

Cllr Dawson has now confirmed it will be replaced but, due to the cost, it could take some time.

The exact cost is not being made public as the work will be subject to a tendering process for contractors.

She said: “Together we will ensure that communication on the bridge and in general about this will be updated regularly.”

The ‘sad’ state of the bridge has been the subject of concerns by residents over months. There were complaints that the signs declared it was ‘awaiting bridge inspection’ but that little appeared to have been done. It was also described as a ‘blight on our green space’.

Manor Gardens is popular with walkers, dog walkers and is home to the state-of-the-art children’s play park which opened earlier this year.

Others commented that the bridge is a ‘integral part of the layout of the park’ and should not be allowed to be removed.

Park user Bette Didier-Cook commented on social media: ‘It’s clear from the feedback received this matter affects a lot of Dawlish people who have waited far too long for the bridge to be inspected and repaired.’

She said the matter was causing annoyance to a large group of council tax payers at the lack of action being taken.