Wales

Celtic Manor footbridge to stay closed to the public

Gates closed on the Celtic Manor footbridge in Newport Image copyright Celtic Manor
Image caption Security gates were installed last month

A popular £2m bridge built for the Ryder Cup will remain closed to the public over safety fears.

The footbridge over the River Usk opened in 2010 when golf's Ryder Cup was held at Newport's Celtic Manor.

Course bosses believe its proximity to a driving range made leaving it open "an accident waiting to happen".

Despite receiving 100 letters of objection, Newport council planners said there was no agreement to keep it open after the Ryder Cup.

Celtic Manor bosses ruled out making the path a public right of way in 2014 but left it open.

However, they installed gates in March this year.

They said this was because of 12 "security incidents" and people gaining unauthorised access to the course, with a tournament suspended on one occasion due to disruption.

Image copyright Celtic Manor
Image caption The bridge has been a popular route for local people since it opened in 2010

At a meeting on Wednesday, objectors said this punished those who used it in a respectful way, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Caerleon councillor Gail Giles said it provided pedestrian access to the people of the village and the move had caused "considerable distress".

Stow Hill councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi asked if there was a better say to resolve the issue, adding: "You're punishing everyone here for the transgression of a few."

Celtic Manor chiefs told council planners the path would remain closed whether they backed their decision or not.

They described how closing the route was necessary in the interest of security and the health and safety of Celtic Manor staff and the public.

Vice president Russell Phillips told an earlier meeting: "Amateur players only need to slightly hit the ball left or right and they'll be peppering that area with balls.

"The installation of these gates is not the Celtic Manor trying to be difficult but a direct response to the current situation which is very unsafe, and an accident waiting to happen."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites