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The Millennium Wobble
Now, nearly nine years on, we have the answer to the wobbling of the Millennium Bridge!
We've had the wrong sort of leaves and the wrong kind of snow. Now we have the wrong sort of pedestrians, doing the wrong kind of walk!
" . . . . . But it was shut for safety reasons after only three days because of the persistent 'wobble'.
Engineers originally blamed the effect of hundreds of people stepping on to the bridge in unison for the problem.
But new research has shown that it was the combination of a large number of people and the random way in which they walked which kept the bridge moving with such large wobbles.
Dr John MacDonald, from Bristol University, who led the research, said that they had proved that the problem was caused by "the presence of lateral bridge motion without changing the pedestrian walking frequency and applying the same foot placement strategy to maintain balance".
Understand all that gobbledegook (thank heavens for academics) if you will but forgive me for asking - isn't a footbridge supposed to be walked on? What a good job we've now performed all that expensive research.
Is it me? Surely the bridge had to wobble in order to make people try to keep their balance in the first place?
The bridge (the first new crossing in Central London for more than a century) re-opened after the further expenditure of about £5,000,000. You'll see now why, when I wanted a footbridge in my garden, to span our new pond feature, I didn't consult this particular firm of bridge designers! What a good job that we once knew how to build bridges, over 100 years ago.
You may be comforted to learn that we managed with a few wooden rails and a few coach screws and nails.
Why not take a look at www.alternativevet.org , while you're here?]
Keywords: Wobble, Central, Frequency, MacDonald, Sort, Random, Crossing, Leaves, Wrong, Unison, Footbridge, Bristol, Walking, Pond, Snow, Pedestrians, Walk, Kind, Lateral, Motion, Balance, Bridge, Research, London, Thames, Garden, University, Millennium