Letter: New railings are a miserable costly eyesore

The new railings are on the bridge to the recreation ground at Hollins Mill Lane.
 
 
Mike Middleton
The new railings are on the bridge to the recreation ground at Hollins Mill Lane. Mike Middleton

What a terribly expensive and miserable eyesore the new railings are on the bridge to the recreation ground at Hollins Mill Lane.

I feel sure that if Calderdale Council had seized the opportunity to work collaboratively with local people who use the bridge and who know the area the result would have looked considerably more attractive than this.

The result is not even safe (note the dangerous gaps at the sides).

By using local designers, steel fabricators and installation contractors (rather than companies outside of Calderdale) money could have been brought into the local economy.

Believe it or not £17,000 was spent making it look like a motorway bridge!

I asked a local fabricator for his opinion on the railings – which are a standard design fabricated ‘by the mile’.

He advised as a guide they should cost £160/m – making the overall cost £6.5k (not £17k)

When I asked how that could possibly be, he said:

1. Possibly made from titanium.

2. Made in top quality stainless steel

3. Being fitted by Donald Trump.

Seriously though – and I wonder whether a bit of investigative journalism is in order - I think there is a massive problem here with the council’s procurement process – in terms of value for money and in terms of sourcing designers, fabricators, contractors etc from outside of our local economy.

If they have wasted so much money on a £17k project – how much gets wasted on the multi-million pound ones?!

The other issue which I find really unpalatable as an architect is having ugly looking engineering projects inflicted upon us by untrained council officials

Mike Middleton, Sowerby Bridge