Bird spikes installed on bridge confusing pigeon invaders

Spikes and chicken wire have been installed and layers of bird droppings removed from the footpath on the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge leaving pigeons confused but the walkway remained closed to walkers and cyclists on Tuesday, March 8.

The path was closed by Transport NI at the beginning of February due to the build-up of pigeon droppings, which had begun to pose a slippery safety risk for walkers and cyclists.

A pigeon hang-out close to the steps near the Waterside end of the bridge was blamed. It was there that layers of pigeon droppings, millimetres thick had been allowed to accumulate.

But now that’s all been fixed. The pigeon droppings are gone and anti-pigeon spikes and chicken wire have been installed to help deter roosting near the steps.

SDLP Councillor, Martin Reilly, who has been lobbying for a solution, says he’s pleased to see the new deterrents in place and hopes that the lower deck footpath will be opened in the near future.

“I’d hope we’ll be seeing the reopening of this popular cycle path linking the Cityside and the Waterside in the near future,” said Mr Reilly.

“I’d like to welcome the agreement reached between Transport NI and Derry City and Strabane District Council not only to install the spikes and take the other measures to prevent pigeon-roosting, but I’d also like to welcome the commitment by the cleansing service to keep this popular pathway, free of dog mess and pigeon mess.”

While the footpath is now spick and span, Transport NI, has warned there’s no panacea against bird roosting.

Harry Gallagher, a section engineer at Transport NI, last month said: “Additional measures are being planned at the worst location to help deter pigeon roosting mess at Craigavon Bridge. These measures are likely to involve the use of mesh and spikes although I am prepared to consider other means as well. Efforts are being concentrated on the worst affected areas as there are so many possible ledges on Craigavon Bridge it does not seem realistic to make it pigeon proof.”