TAUNTON Town Council has agreed to appoint a company to carry out a feasibility study on a “sorely missed” town centre footbridge.

Councillors agreed to work alongside environmental professional services consultancy WSP at a cost of £7,700 to have their own quotes, figures, and research on the Goodland Gardens footbridge.

Resident Brenda Prentice said “there are many concerns” regarding the bridge.

She said there is “very little clarity about what is going on and about who owns the footbridge” and added: “The bridge should be registered as a historic bridge. There are many grants available to repair assets and the bridge is an asset to Taunton.

“It’s iconic and unique. Can we please have it back open?”

Cllr Tom Deakin, leader of Taunton Town Council, said he is “99 per cent sure Somerset Council owns the bridge”.

He added: “I hope to clear up some of the confusion. The bridge was owned by the former district council [Somerset West and Taunton Council]. I’m 99 per cent sure Somerset Council owns the bridge.

“As a town council we are looking at how we can solve the problem, we are taking it seriously.

“We need our own data and work on which to base our decision, they [WSP] expect us to do our own research and study and then get some quotes and figures about the replacement.”

Councillor Caroline Ellis, who is also part of the Friends of Goodland Gardens Group, said: “On behalf of Friends of Goodland Gardens I can say they are happy for Taunton Town Council to take the lead.

“We are very keen for something to happen. This is a good way forward, but we do need our own report.

“The bridge connects our green and blue spaces. It is sorely missed, and we are absolutely passionate about replacing that bridge. I strongly welcome this [the WSP appointment].

“We need the feasibility study and our own information. The foundations of the bridge are in good state, we need information on how much the bridge cost.

“Somerset Council want us to move forward, we are stepping up. We are on a new path and this is the only way we can go with this.”

Conservative councillor Giuseppe Fraschini suggested Somerset Council should pay for the feasibility study “if they are keen to rectify the situation”.

It is “not sure” yet whether the report on the feasibility study will be confidential, but several councillors are hoping it will be in the public domain.

The footbridge has been closed since November 2022 when “significant structural weaknesses” were found.

It was previously said a new bridge could cost at least £400,000.