BEING the designer of the proposed underpass scheme for the Aire Valley trunk road at Steeton/Silsden – Bridge backed for trunk road (Keighley News, March 12) – I feel it utterly disrespectful that MP Robbie Moore says “I am not sure why options like a subway were even considered, given the site is next to a flood plain”.

First and foremost I would like to stress that I am a former designer of flood attenuation schemes, and some of my design work has apparently been used by the Scottish Office as best examples of practice.

I take my design seriously, as you could see from the concept which I previously submitted to this newspaper. I carried out extensive research for that proposal and it is very obvious to all those who have been to the location I identified for the underpass that it has never flooded. Furthermore, the actual location is extensively protected by existing flood attenuation berms.

Maybe Mr Moore would like to put his expenses towards a little trip across the water to Holland where he will find many underpass schemes, bearing in mind that much of Holland is several metres below sea level. It is also a well known fact that the Dutch prefer to construct underpasses rather than bridges. A pedestrian footbridge will not stop people from crossing on foot if they so wished and a bridge will actually cause a whole host of issues – not least it will be a complete blight on the landscape of our valley. The footbridge is definitely not the best option, for this site, so why Cllr Naylor thinks “a footbridge is the least worst option” I will never know; it is clear he has little understanding of engineering solutions.

This brings me to the point that in this country our solutions to problems are seemingly hindered by those in power that have little or no knowledge of design issues and engineering which can transform if chosen wisely. Our country needs to be great right now and building the wrong structures for the wrong place is not the right way to go.

It appears to me that Mr Moore is running a Conservative bandwagon over the crossing, as it has always been clear from other Conservatives that they also favour the footbridge. I am happy to meet Mr Moore and Cllr Ross-Shaw onsite, where I can show them that it doesn’t flood and they can explain to me why they think a footbridge is the better option.



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