A LONG-CLOSED footbridge which has ‘forced’ cyclists and walkers into negotiating a notorious speeding road still has no date for its reopening - despite cash being secured for its repair work.

Bullhouse Bridge, which carries the Trans Pennine Trail across the A628 at Millhouse Green, has been closed for two years.

Government cash - totalling £150,000 - was secured last year which locals hoped would fast-track the fitment of a new deck to replace the current one, which is rotting and unsafe to carry weight.

However, the Chronicle can reveal that despite the council putting the contract out to tender - which saw several firms lodge their initial interest - nobody bid to take on the ‘specialist’ work.

Coun David Greenhough, who represents the Penistone West ward, said: “It’s been closed for far too long and while there’s been reasons for that, mainly its repair costs, we’re keen to see this issued solved as soon as possible.

“There has to be urgency because of the lack of safety for pedestrians using the trail’s diversion.

“The bridge went out to tender but no-one bid for it even though companies showed interest.

“They’re being contacted again to see why they haven’t bid for the contract.

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“Hopefully one of them will reconsider if the conditions are more flexible.

“The problem they have run into is it’s considered a small project in bridge terms, but it’s a bit of a specialist job.”

To help address safety issues a speed reduction for vehicles on Manchester Road - either side of the bridge - was enforced by the council, which cut the limit from 60mph to 40mph.

While this was welcomed by Trans Pennine Trail users, concerns have continually been flagged by councillors due to vehicles’ speed.

Coun Hannah Kitching, who also represents Penistone West, told the Chronicle: “It’s been such a frustrating issue and it’s one that local councillors have had a lot of complaints about.

“The funding is in place so it appeared that the work was imminent.

“Despite companies showing an interest, the lack of bids was disappointing so whether that was to do with timeframes or the finer details of the council’s contract, clearly something needs to be smoothened out.

“Manchester Road’s speed is concerning - I’ve taken the council’s leader and a former mayor across the diversion and it’s just not right asking people to deal with it.”

Coun Kitching warned another Trans Pennine Trail-carrying bridge over the A616 - which has an identical build to the closed one - will also face a similar fate.

“It’s extremely similar and while Bullhouse’s rotten deck meant it had to close, the A616 also has the same issue so in a year or so we’ll have two closed,” she added.