Chairman of the Friends of Rodwell Trail and Sandsfoot Castle David Carter backed the calls for a more simplistic bridge.

Mr Carter wrote in a letter to the Echo: “The replacement of the Newstead Road bridge has the Friends wholehearted support.

“It will link the two halves of the trail and the anticipated additional use of the north end of the trail will be to its benefit as we find that the more use an area gets, the undesirable aspects of public use (litter and dog faeces) tend to reduce.

“The Friends supported the Cyclists Touring Club’s original proposal that was adopted by Sustrans, which was able to secure £350,000 of funding in 2007.

“The Friends only required a simple bridge to span the busy road crossing but supported the separately funded proposal for some element of artwork that would be fixed to the bridge to add a little local character.

“We did not want an ‘iconic Olympic legacy’ bridge.”

Mr Carter added: “The Friends were invited to attend what Dorset County Council described as a ‘steering group’.

“Unfortunately this did not meet on a regular basis and when it was convened it was to receive updates on ‘progress’ and there was no opportunity to influence the outcome or the costs.

“I am unable to comment on the design fees already spent and the tender process as the steering group was not party to such information.

“But I believe that a simple bridge would have been adequate and that the additional money now required for this DCC project could be spent on completing the cycle networks initially proposed for the borough.”