Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet earlier today backed plans to prepare and submit a planning application for a new city walking and cycling bridge.
The County Council is working in partnership with Worcester City Council in the development and delivery of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Severn in Worcester.
The bridge will run between Gheluvelt Park and the Kepax Ferry Lane and Riverside Close area.
Building on the success of the Diglis Bridge which opened back in 2010, this project aims to provide improved cycle and pedestrian connectivity to the north of Worcester.
It also aims to enhance links along the riverside so users could complete a ’figure of 8‘ circuit using Kepax Bridge, Sabrina Bridge and Diglis Bridge.
A spokesperson from Worcestershire County Council said: “It’s great that we have now been given the green light to move forward with preparation for planning permission and also to engage with 3rd parties about funding support for the scheme.
“The benefits that this scheme would bring to the city are huge such as an supporting an increase in leisure activities and the positive impact of physical and mental well-being that can bring, better access to Gheluvelt Park and the race course, more off road opportunities for pedestrians and cycling and improved connection to National Cycle Routes.”
There are a number of activities that have already been completed in order to get the scheme to this stage which include an initial feasibility study, surveys to assess the land on either side of the river, flood risk assessments and other environmental surveys.
From this, an initial business case has been completed which presents the strategic, economic, commercial and financial background for provision of the bridge that is aimed at improving local and strategic cycle and pedestrian links, creating leisure, employment and access to education opportunities.
If planning permission is granted in Winter 2020 / 21 following further survey and design work, and if full funding is in place, it is expected that work will start on construction during 2021.
It is likely that the bridge and the local and strategic cycle and pedestrian links will be delivered in phases, with the initial phase being the main bridge including links to the nearest highway with works to the extend network following later.