Convicted criminals could be brought in to paint “less than desirable” footbridges in Dundee.
A total of £550,000 has been earmarked in the city council’s capital plan to fix footbridges in Dundee.
The two bridges of particular concern are in the West End of the city — one crossing the railway line at Magdalen Green and the other further west, just south of the new Harris Academy.
The bridge at Magdalen Green has been described as being of “high priority” for the local authority.
Now local councillor for the West End, Fraser Macpherson, has revealed one possible solution — use community service workers to complete cosmetic paintwork.
He has been told by council chiefs that there is the potential to implement the criminal justice scheme.
Andrew McBride, former chairman of the West End Community Council, today welcomed the proposal, adding: “Anything that helps makes sense to me.
“I know the criminal justice scheme is looking for projects to get involved in and this seems perfect — it’s an excellent idea.
“My wife and I regularly use those bridges and they can be pretty unpleasant.
“Painting them would make a huge difference — they certainly need tidying up.”
A spokeswoman for the city council said: “All bridges in Dundee are inspected on a two year cycle in accordance with the code of practice for the management of highway structures.
“The footbridge at Magdalen Green was last inspected on July 27. The bridge is in a safe condition for users, however we agree that its appearance is less than desirable.
“The nature of its construction means that effective, long term treatment to the deck concrete and steelwork are not considered economically viable for this structure, particularly with pressures elsewhere on the capital budget.
“However, we can investigate the potential for cosmetic painting through the criminal justice team, assuming Network Rail would permit this during daytime working, although this would deal only with the internal faces of the bridge steelwork and do little to protect against corrosion.”
Meanwhile, the footbridge near Harris Academy was last inspected in August following the first phase of planned maintenance works on the structure.
The council spokeswoman added: “There is currently an allowance of £550k in 2020/21 in the Capital Plan for bridgeworks, and Magdalen Green footbridge is one of the higher priority projects being considered against this funding.
“Depending on the scheme adopted, costs are likely to be higher than the £550k, and other funding may need to be found.”