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Relief as Greater Cambridge Partnership confirms it will install rigid mesh, not bird netting, on Abbey-Chesterton bridge



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The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has confirmed that it will install a rigid mesh, not bird netting, on the new Abbey-Chesterton bridge.

It had prompted concerns after tweeting on Wednesday (October 20) that the Stourbridge Common to Ditton Fields jetty in Cambridge would be closed for five days from 8am on Monday, October 25 to 5pm on Friday, October 29 for “bird netting installation and final safety checks”.

Commentators pointed out that netting can trap birds, leaving them to die, and the move seemed contrary to plans to increase biodiversity in the county. The Cambridge Independent quizzed the GCP on the plans.

Today (Thursday, October 21), the GCP explained that it in fact planned to put in a rigid mesh beneath the bridge, which it said had been designed to prevent harm to birds. The mesh is intended to prevent bird mess corroding the structure.

A stock image of the kind of mesh due to be intalled on the Abbey-Chesterton bridge. Picture: GCP (52511404)
A stock image of the kind of mesh due to be intalled on the Abbey-Chesterton bridge. Picture: GCP (52511404)

A GCP spokesperson told the Cambridge Independent: “As part of the works to finalise the new Abbey-Chesterton Bridge it is a requirement by Cambridgeshire County Council, as the highways authority, to install measures to prevent damage to the base plates of the bridge.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is planning bridge works on the jetty. Picture: GCP (52464019)
The Greater Cambridge Partnership is planning bridge works on the jetty. Picture: GCP (52464019)

“This is a structural rigid mesh, not a net, and is designed to prevent access onto the bearing shelf and into the hollow abutment space.

“The mesh is designed so that birds cannot get trapped in it.This mesh has previously been installed on the Victoria Avenue and Jesus Green bridges with no issues.”

The the underside of Jesus Green bridge, with mesh similar to that planned for the Abbey-Chesterton bridge. Picture: GCP (52511402)
The the underside of Jesus Green bridge, with mesh similar to that planned for the Abbey-Chesterton bridge. Picture: GCP (52511402)

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