‘MINDLESS vandalism’ of the Adur Ferry Bridge has led a councillor to call for the offender to be put in the stocks.
Liza McKinney reacted with outrage to the news West Sussex County Council has gone to Sussex Police over thick gouges scraped into the glass panels of the bridge.
“In one way I’m sorry we no longer have the stocks,” she said.
“To put him or her in stocks and let the people see what a person they are to actually destroy something that’s going to cost so much to replace.”
The £9.8million bridge was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester in November, 2013.
John O’Brien, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It’s really really disappointing that mindless acts of vandalism should spoil something that the community has grasped and has very much endeared itself,” adding it was a ‘wonderful asset’.
Meanwhile, Marine borough councillor McKinney said it was ‘terrible’ news.
“That’s very upsetting,” she said. “We had hoped that people would appreciate having a brand new bridge and a bridge that’s given so much pleasure to an awful lot of people.
“That somebody should be destructive as to feel the necessity to create such terrible, terrible damage.
“It’s very expensive and at the end of the day that’s costing the tax payer money because it’s the county who is responsible for the bridge.
“Their income comes from ordinary men and women, old and young, who live in West Sussex and they pay council tax and your council tax is what is paying for that so all of us are paying for somebody’s mindless behaviour.”
A Twitter account dedicated to the bridge – @Adurferrybridge – said deep scratches had been ‘gouged’ into 30 of the panels.
Mrs McKinney said: “Why be destructive? What joy has it given them to be so destructive?
“There are cameras. I hope the camera has maybe caught the culprit.
“I hope on behalf of all of us – both the residents of the Beach and residents of Shoreham and visitors that come and use the bridge – that the person is apprehended.”
Some of the panels were being replaced as part of a £150,000 project after cracks emerged last year.
The cracks came about as problems with the original design and contractor Osborne was paying for the replacement.
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