Anti-terror devices used to block access to Darley Abbey bridge

A Derby bridge which has been closed for urgent repair works has been protected with the same Derbyshire-made devices used to protect the public from terror attacks. Five SecuriPods, created by Ashbourne-based firm Securiscape, have blocked access to the Darley Abbey Mill bridge over the River Derwent. The pods are moveable blocks which can withstand impact from motor vehicles being used in terror attacks, and have already been used to protect the public at events including Derby Pride and Derby Feste.

They have also been seen across the country at events in London, Nottingham and Lancaster. The devices were put in place at the entrance to the bridge at 6.30am on Friday, May 13 and are being used to stop pedestrians, cyclists and drivers from crossing the structure, which connects the Darley Abbey Mills with Old Lane, as it undergoes repairs. The bridge was closed at short notice last week after Derby City Council announced that it was in a weak and dangerous condition following recent flooding, but no date has been given for when it will reopen.

: Councillors and Derby MP step in to try and save popular Derby bridge Mark Stone, managing director of Securiscape, said: “The SecuriPods are designed so that they can withstand the impact from a 7.2 tonne truck driven deliberately at them and so although this is an alternative use for them, they will undoubtedly prove effective in stopping traffic. “We all know how busy and well-used the Darley Abbey bridge is and what an inconvenience this must be to local residents.

Although they make an effective barrier, the SecuriPods are very straightforward for our staff to remove, so hopefully they won’t have to be in place for longer than is truly necessary.”

The SecuriPods which have been put in place at the entrance to the closed bridge in Darley Abbey.

Local government representatives and the area’s MP have all raised concerns about the bridge being closed for an extended period. While the council closed the bridge, it does not own it, with the bridge being privately owned by The Crown Estates. An online meeting was held on Saturday May 14 to discuss the bridge’s future, with Derby North MP Amanda Solloway pledging to contact government officials on the issue.

Meanwhile, Derby City Councillor, Martin Repton, called for government funding to resolve the issue for the benefit of local residents. Speaking to Derbyshire Live, a spokesperson for Darley Abbey Mills said: “We were contacted on Wednesday morning by representatives from Derby City Council following a bridge survey last week. They have stated that the bridge is unsafe to use for both vehicles and pedestrians, so with effect from 6am, Friday 13th May 2022, the bridge will close until further notice.

“The bridge is owned by The Crown Estates as our land ownership finishes by the Mill gates, leading to the bridge. This effectively means that there will be considerably less traffic travelling through the mills which should help keep this World Heritage Site free from additional damage potentially caused by this traffic. Currently there are frequent traffic jams which cause problems to the businesses on site.

“From a health and safety perspective, this will improve the safety of any pedestrians walking through Darley Park and the surrounding area. There is easier access directly into the Mills via Alfreton Road and Haslams Lane which residents and business owners will benefit from.” Derbyshire Live understands that parts of the bridge are structurally unsafe, with supporting beams beginning to rot.

Crown Estates has been approached for comment.