Bathurst Footbridge

There was once a bridge across the entrance to Bathurst Basin adjacent to the Ostrich that took both rail and road traffic. It was removed in 1964 and, as the docks were then closed to commercial shipping, it was not replaced.

During the 1970s the area was becoming derelict and Bristol Civic Society decided to look at improving the Redcliffe area. They persuaded Bristol City Council to clear the car park, the donkey ramp and the red cliff on Redcliffe Parade. Now at this time Courage, owners of the Ostrich, were refurbishing the pub and they offered a grant of money which BCS used to plant trees along the quays of Bathurst Basin. Courage was so pleased with the transformation from unloved industrial area to pleasant waterside that they then offered a further grant.

Meanwhile a developer had proposed replacing the old industrial buildings between the harbour and Bathurst Basin with housing. However the Council required a footbridge across the entrance lock to replace the bridge removed in 1964. The developer claimed it would be too expensive and could not be afforded. However with the money from Courage BCS commissioned engineer Richard Fenton to design a footbridge which he believed might be done by the use of redundant steel dredging tubes from the harbour at about half the price quoted by the developer. An early example of waste recycling! His design was accepted and the bridge, though more expensive in the end (which is another long story) was the first new footbridge to be built reconnecting the important foot-route along the south shore and signalling the new leisure use of the Floating Harbour.

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