Angry councillors in Calderdale have hit out over the opening of Elland Bridge saying they were not given any details of the ceremony or when it would be taking place.
Elland Bridge which was devastated by the Boxing Day Floods in 2015 and had to be demolished was finally re-opened to vehicles on Wednesday morning.
However, members of Calderdale Council say they were kept in the dark about the opening.
Councillor James Baker, leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats, said that councillors only found out what was happening via the press release and questioned why members weren’t invited or informed about the opening.
Hundreds of people gathered on the bridge to see Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, and Simon Bamford, director of asset delivery for the Canal & River Trust, declare the bridge open after cutting a ribbon, and the local Brooksbank School Sports College brass band played as the first vehicle drove over the newly rebuilt bridge.
Lib Dem Councillor Marilyn (Greetland and Stainland) was another councillor to say she only found out by accident.
“The boundary of my ward is in very close proximity to Elland Bridge and the effects of the closure have had a major impact on many residents in Greetland and Stainland, as they have for Elland people and many from other areas too.
“It also had the added effect of exacerbating the already severe traffic congestion in West Vale thus causing additional frustration to local people. Therefore, the re-opening of the bridge was regarded as a monumental event by many of us.
“However, I only learned by accident at 11 am this morning that the bridge was to re-open at lunchtime.
“I arrived armed with my camera at 11.30 to be told that it was “all over” and had been opened by a bus-load of dignitaries at 11am.
“Many of us were on hand as volunteers following the Boxing Day Floods of 2015 and this event today brings some closure to the disaster.
“I was born and raised in Elland within a few hundred yards of the bridge and I would have felt proud to have attended. Why were we not informed? I hear that even Elland Ward Councillors were not invited?”