Public rights of way latest news
Austcliffe Bridge has now been fully restored
One of the world’s oldest cast iron bridges in Worcestershire has been fully restored and re-opened to the public.
The Austcliffe footbridge over the River Stour near Caunsall, north of Kidderminster, was originally constructed c.1795, making it one of the first structures in the world ever to be made of cast iron.
Worcestershire County Council has undertaken extensive conservation works with its highway’s contractor, Ringway, to fully retore the bridge to its former glory. The bridge was dissembled and loving restored to ensure that it was kept in keeping with its ancestry.
The completed project included repairing, replacing, and repainting various elements of the bridge. It also included a new ramp and railings leading to the bride parapet, in keeping with the original character of the bridge.
One of the world’s oldest cast-iron footbridges gets a refurb
An extensive conservation project to restore one of the world’s oldest cast iron bridges in Worcestershire has started.
The Austcliffe footbridge over the River Stour near Caunsall was originally constructed c.1795, making it one of the first structures in the world ever to be made of cast iron.
Worcestershire County Council has revealed that the historic bridge is under threat due to general deterioration. The County is now undertaking extensive conservation works with its highway’s contractor, Ringway, to restore the bridge to its former glory.
The project will clean, repair and replace various elements of the bridge: the steel arch has already been repainted by a specialist and reinstalled, the north abutment will be rebuilt with a new ramp and the railings leading to the bride parapet will also be replaced in keeping with the original character of the bridge.
It is expected that the fully restored cast-iron bridge will be open for use during the Spring of 2022. Keep an eye out on this web page for any further updates.
Accessing the outdoors and exercising in green spaces is very important for people's health at the moment. If you choose to do so it is important that you follow the Government guidance on accessing green spaces safely and also the updated Countryside Code:
Please note during this time the Public Rights of Way Team may have limited capacity. If you encounter issues on the network please report these via the online reporting system- please include photos with reports where possible.
Kepax Bridge - Works affecting the Severn Way
Further to the planning permission (Application No. 20/000035/REG3) granted on 29 September 2021 in relation to the new Kepax Footbridge, trees and other vegetation will be removed in the vicinity of the Severn Way path, starting week commencing 14 February 2022.
The work is expected to take up to 2 weeks. The work is being undertaken now to avoid the bird nesting season, with replacement planting being undertaken as part of the project following completion of the bridge.
Millennium Way Gate Project
We have just completed a project in conjunction with Vale Landscape Heritage Trust (VLHT) and the Solihull 41 Club to replace 6 stiles with new gates on the Millennium Way and its associated circulars. The project has been funded by VLHT as part of Landfill Communities Fund. The Millennium Way is managed by the Solihull 41 Club. WCC PRoW Team have done the landowner negotiations and arranged installation of the gates. The project has improved access along the Millennium Way and its circulars as well as improving access in the local areas where the gates are located.
There are currently a small number of path closures across the county, particularly affecting paths around the river Severn in Worcester. For more details on these, and to see alternative routes, please visit our interactive map and select the closures layer. Users should take note of the signage present on each of the closure sites.
The Northwick Manor Heritage Trail and the riverside path at Diglis currently have path closures affecting them for the Unlocking the Severn project. If you have any queries relating to these works please:
There are also path closures in place in the parishes of Powick, Kempsey and St Peter the Great for the Southern Link Road Phase 4 project.
Further details on Southern Link Road Phase 4
As a result of the recent flooding, there may be some disruption to the network. We are not aware of the full extent of the damage yet so please bear with us over the coming weeks while we try to resolve these issues.