£267k needed for viaduct path plans

NILALC100713A1 - Bennerley Viaduct Ilkeston
NILALC100713A1 - Bennerley Viaduct Ilkeston

A young railway enthusiast has defended against claims the Bennerley Viaduct is falling apart, claiming it is ‘in safe hands’.

Ilkeston lad Marcello Gabrielli, 16, has been discussing the future of the Grade-II listed structure with the charity Sustrans, which has owned it since the late 1990s.

He said plans to link it up to a footpath or cycling network by constructing ramps at both ends of the Victorian wrought iron bridge, have been estimated at £267,000.

But, as the ‘Tiser revealed last month, plans can go no further without a body like a local council or the lottery coughing up some funding.

Marcello said plans have been mooted since 1980s.

“From the letters I have read I can see a lot of people are worried about the viaduct becoming dangerous or ‘falling to pieces’,” he added.

“This won’t happen – As part of Sustrans’s ownership it’s their responsibility to protect the viaduct from becoming dangerous.”

Plans are not as simple as just planting a path across it , he said – a link would have to be made from the Kimberley end.

Sustrans is organising a meeting this month to discuss the situation and Marcello has made a plea to townsfolk to get involved.

“It’s part of our history and we are so lucky to have it in our community,” he said.

Email him with your ideas about how to use the viaduct or how to raise funding on marcello47357@hotmail.com.