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Europe's oldest iron-chain suspension bridge could close

There are doubts over the future of Europe's oldest surviving iron-chain suspension bridge, the Union Chain Bridge.

The bridge, which spans almost 130 metres over the River Tweed is in need of repair, and both the Scottish Borders and Northumberland Councils are considering shutting the bridge for good, if funding cannot be found.

An estimated £4.7million is needed to repair the damage to the bridge, which was built in 1820, with the intention of strengthening ties between Scotland and England.

"Northumberland County Council is the lead authority for the Union Chain Bridge. However we have a joint responsibility, and are working together to develop options to allow the refurbishment of the bridge to take place.

"The bridge will require a new chain suspension hanger system to be developed and fitted; substantial deck replacement; upgrading of the existing parapets; and totally repainted. The estimated cost of the repairs is £4.7million.

"If the councils were unable to raise the required funding it is likely that a phased closure would be implemented."

– Spokesperson, Scottish Borders Council

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