Tuesday, 9 July 2013
During a routine inspection today, contractors identified large vertical cracks in some of the cast iron columns supporting Southport Pier. Capita recommended that we consider the closure of the Pier until a full survey is completed.
Based upon photographs of the cracks that have been examined by my Engineers, we have concluded that the Tram should cease operation immediately until the survey can ascertain the extent of the problem. The Pier will remain open to pedestrians.
The survey is planned to take place tomorrow. I have asked officers to make it a priority and give feedback as soon as possible in order that we may make a swift decision regarding whether or not we can lift the temporary ban on the Tram or indeed, if we need to go further.
I will of course keep you appraised as to progress but given the structural nature of the damaged cast iron and the implications of any form of collapse now that we have been made aware of the damage, I do not feel that we have any reasonable alternative course of action on the grounds of public safety.
It would of course happen on such a glorious day and some of the concessionaires may complain of reduced trade but obviously, safety is paramount
When I learn more I will updat this posting. As things stand it appears the correct action has been taken. Clearly the Pier is a great tourist attraction and people in Southport have supported all effort to maintain it. I want to see it re-opened as soon as saftey allows possible
Posted by iain at Tuesday, July 09, 2013