Ode to a forgotten footbridge

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CLARKSTON footbridge continues to cause consternation in the community — and one resident has even penned a poem about it.

The bridge, running from Clarkston Toll to the station car park, has been closed since February this year amid a row between East Renfrewshire council and Network Rail.

The renovation was due to be completed within five weeks, but a dispute between the two authorities – over technical approvals to close the railway line so that the work can carry on – has left residents navigating a narrow back road in place of the footbridge.

An anonymous work, signed Tongue in Cheek, has been doing the rounds on online community boards this week after being spotted in a shop window by community group Clarkston.com.

The Extra can reveal that the man behind the prose is Kit Duddy, of Clarkston car shop Autokits, who wrote an ode to the closed footbridge on a Saturday in store.

Kit, a seasoned amateur poet who writes rhymes for family and friends, told The Extra: “I had phoned and spoken to the council about four times during the past six months, and each time they’d said they weren’t sure when work was going to start or finish.

“Last week, I got a bit bored with the lack of reply and thought I’d have a bit of fun with it, so I wrote the poem.

“Clarkston.com said it had been appreciated by the community, which is good — it was meant as a bit of enjoyment, and maybe it will kick-start a bit of the work”.

The poem, entitled Clarkston’s Bridge, reads: “Six weeks work was quoted with perhaps an early bell, six months on, Clarkston sits, here, in bridgeless hell.

“The council and the railway folk will sort out the bridge that’s clear, the problem is they are not quite sure which MONTH, indeed which YEAR”.

A council spokesman this week assured residents that work would progress soon.

He commented: “The first stage of technical approvals was processed last week and we are progressing some ground stabilisation works to gain full technical approval by the end of this week.

“Following this approval, line possessions will be progressed and the work completed”.

For Clarkston.com, the move can’t come soon enough. A representative of the community board told The Extra: “I despair at the state of Clarkston just now. You would think it would be simple enough to have an operational bridge.

“I know that times are hard, but the centre of Clarkston is not what it should be. Surely with a little bit of focus, we can do much better than this”.

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