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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Pier walkways set for reopening
Herne Bay Pier in the early 1900s (from hernebaypier.freeserve.co.uk)
The pier in Herne Bay was originally opened in 1832
Walkways around a disused pier are set to be reopened to the public thanks to 24,000 of local authority investment.

The middle of Herne Bay Pier, in Kent, collapsed into the sea in the late 1970s, leaving a land-based section and an isolated portion out to sea.

Canterbury City Council has now agreed funding for new decking, railings, safety equipment, signage and CCTV.

It is hoped people will then be able to access the pier's walkways from June through to September.

Online petitions

Jean Herwin, chair of the Herne Bay Association of Hotels, Business and Leisure, said the move was "extremely welcome and shows positive thinking by the council".

"I have many, many calls about the pier from places in England, especially about the availability of fishing from the pier for example," Ms Herwin said.

"The pier's restoration is crucial to the town's continued revival."

The Herne Bay Pier Pressure Group is running two petitions calling for the complete rebuilding of the structure, one aimed at Canterbury council and the other on the Downing Street website.

Councillor John Gilbey, leader of the city council, said the walkway repairs and safety works were being done because "you've got to start somewhere".

"It's probably correct to go in and open it up for the summer and see what happens," he said.

Mr Gilbey added that any moves towards a complete pier refurbishment would have to be taken "step by step".



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