"You're our first customer," says one and it was therefore with a mild sense of 'making history' that I climbed the East staircase, which goes to the side, giving passive provision for a lift to be installed in the future. From this staircase the structure looks quite graceful and impressive as it sweeps over to the other parapet; the span is quite long. I, accompanied by the engineers/ construction workers made my way over the deck, which is 2 metres wide and the wall the height that allowed me to see over the edge (just about). When I reached the other side though, I noticed that the lights on the west staircase were attached by bits of scaffolding. The engineering informed me that the entire staircase was temporary. He pointed at two large holes in the ground,
"The Staircase was going to go there but the local residents (points at a garden next to the holes) complained," Now the West staircase is to built further east, fouling the path of the former goods yard throat. It will be built after Christmas sometime, although I didn't get round to asking him whether the work will necessitate the closure of the footbridge again, or whether pedestrians could continue to use the temporary west staircase for the duration of the work.
Whist we talked a class 465 (4-carraige Networker) came in and out again on the rapid 3tph timetable, the unit laid on, no doubt to reduce the chance of the service failing in the extreme weather.
More photos of the new bridge can be found in the Gallery
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.