THE installation of a £1million bridge which has proved controversial but will provide easier access between two caravan parks has now been completed.

Park Holidays UK has put in place a 40-metre-long overpass across a watercourse in Jaywick, connecting the St Osyth Holiday Park and Martello Holiday Park.

The 7.35-metre-wide bridge, which was hoisted into place in two sections, boasts both a road carriageway for vehicles and a walkway for pedestrians.

Work on the huge civil engineering project began in October last year and has been led by Essex construction specialists S&M Contractors from Braintree.

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Previously, residents and day-trippers would have to embark on a 20-minute drive in order to travel from one park to the other, despite them being only yards apart.

But Tony Clish, Park Holidays UK director, says the bridge will now remove that anomaly by providing a direct route between the pair of parks.

He said: "Now our guests will be able to enjoy the facilities of both parks without having to get in their cars.

"The new bridge will also make it easier for us to further develop two already successful parks and enable us to attract even more visitors to the region.

"As an environmentally responsible company, we are also pleased the bridge will cut the volume of air pollution caused by vehicles travelling between the parks.

"It will also reduce road traffic which can increase heavily in the summer holiday months.

"As a business with a keen interest in seeing the Jaywick area develop and prosper, we are delighted to be helping with its regeneration in this way.”

The addition of the bridge could provide faster means of evacuating residents in the area if an emergency is triggered by the threat of coastal flooding.

Mr Clish also believes it will help further boost Clacton and Jaywick’s tourism income due to increased accessibility between the town and village.

But not everyone feels as positively about the completed project and some feel the bridge will prove horrendous for residents.

Mick Masterson, who has lived in Jaywick for 19 years, said: “If this bridge is so good for the community, where is the business plan?

“This project has been two years in the making, yet in all that time they have chosen to conceal rather than consult.

“Unfortunately, most residents in Jaywick are only going to be aware of this issue when they have to start queuing in traffic jams to get in and out of Jaywick.”