A NEW, fully-operational CCTV system has been installed overlooking Adur Ferry Bridge.
The camera was placed at the Shoreham Beach end of the bridge just over a week ago and it is recording images 24 hours a day.
Five panes of glass have been smashed in a series of attacks by vandals over several weeks, prompting calls for full CCTV coverage of the new bridge.
West Sussex County Council, which installed the new camera, said the damaged panes would be replaced over the coming days, subject to weather conditions.
Cabinet member Pieter Montyn said: “It is always a shame when mindless acts of vandalism blight such a wonderful structure and ruin people’s enjoyment of something that is there for the whole community.
“We hope that this new CCTV will act as a deterrent to whoever is responsible.”
The council said the number of people using the new bridge has shown a ‘huge increase’ compared to those using the previous footbridge.
Bicycle trips, in particular, show a significant rise, up by 64 per cent, compared to figures from 2011, according to Sustrans. The cycling charity, which helped to fund the £9.8million bridge, has recently completed its first monitoring report on use of the swing bridge since it opened last September.
Results show estimated cycling trips total 137,968, pedestrian trips are up by 10 per cent to an estimated 742,128 and overall use of the bridge is up by 15 per cent, with an estimated total 912,122 trips.
The monitoring also suggests a big increase in use of the bridge for leisure purposes at the weekend and in the school holidays, as well as a large rise in users aged over 65.
The figures were released a week after the bridge was awarded the community benefit award in the Institution of Civic Engineers’ Engineering Excellence South East England awards.
Mr Montyn said: “This bridge, like its elderly predecessor, is a vital link across the River Adur for the communities of Shoreham Beach and Shoreham town.
“It has become a much-loved community asset and this award is something that both the contractors and the community should feel rightly proud of.
““These latest figures from Sustrans demonstrate really high levels of use which is great news. I’m confident those that use will grow and grow, especially as we approach summer.“