A BARRIER that was in place to prevent the use of a “dangerous” footbridge in Taunton town centre has been broken.

Taunton Town Council said “vandals have broken the barrier” that closed the bridge in Goodland Gardens, which is currently not accessible due to structural concerns.

The authority said a temporary one is now in place and is warning residents that “the bridge remains dangerous”.

Somerset County Gazette: This photo shows the barrier in place now and a message from the town councilThis photo shows the barrier in place now and a message from the town council (Image: Taunton Town Council)

A Taunton Town Council spokesperson said: “We've been advised that the barrier preventing pedestrians from crossing the bridge from Goodland Gardens has been broken.

“Somerset Council are responsible for the bridge and have erected a temporary barrier. Please be advised that the bridge remains dangerous.”

The bridge closed on November 30, 2022 and the then district council (Somerset West and Taunton) revealed there were “significant” structural weaknesses within the joists.

It was also said that replacing the bridge would cost at least £400,000.

Last year, the town council supported a motion submitted by Cllr Caroline Ellis and wrote to Somerset Council to say the replacement of the bridge is “essential”.

In their response, Somerset Council said that they “currently have no allocated capital funding that could be used to fund a replacement bridge at this time”.

Taunton Town Council said Somerset Council’s response was “inadequate”.

The town council, however, later agreed to appoint a company to carry out a feasibility study on the “sorely missed” town centre footbridge last October.