Kepax Walking and Cycling Bridge – Have Your Say

The location of the new Kepax Bridge Published Wednesday, 17th June 2020

Improving walking and cycling routes around the county is a priority for Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council.

The councils are proposing a scheme to build a new walking and cycling bridge across the River Severn in Worcester. The bridge will run from Gheluvelt Park to the Kepax site in St John’s.

Ahead of the scheme going through the planning application process, the councils are asking local residents and businesses to have their say and comment on the proposals.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “We’ve seen a big increase in the use of walking and cycling routes around the county, especially the riverside in Worcester, during the lockdown period. It’s been great to see so many local residents of all ages use the routes that we currently have.

“The proposed new bridge will be a welcome addition to the very well used Diglis bridge, towards the south of the riverside route, which has had over 3 million users since it was opened in 2010. It will also compliment the soon to be refurbished Sabrina bridge, allowing users for the first time to do a ‘figure of eight’ across the River Severn.

The other improvements in the scheme proposal will benefit many people using the area.We welcome your view on the proposals so please let us know if you have any comments.”

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of Worcester City Council, said:  “This consultation marks an important point in our journey to further improve the East-West routes across the City. The phenomenal success of the Diglis Bridge since it was built has shown the real appetite amongst local people for ways to explore and enjoy Worcester’s greatest natural asset, the river. 

This proposed new bridge will, I am sure, deliver a range of benefits for Worcester residents and visitors.  We now want to hear from any interested parties and I hope people will let us know what they think about this exciting proposal and how we can maximise the benefits of it.” 

The proposed scheme would give the opportunity for people to walk and cycle much more quickly between the Henwick Park area (and destinations further afield like Hallow/Broadheath) on the west side and Barbourne/Claines in the east.

In addition, improvements to the existing walking and cycling network will connect residents to the National Cycle Network.

These improvements would increase access to riverside leisure walks, cycle rides and the Green Flag-awarded Gheluvelt Park.

The scheme would encourage the use of alternative modes of transport for journeys around the city generally, helping to  reduce levels of congestion and improve safety and air quality.

There are a number of improvements to walking and cycling routes in the proposed scheme, in addition to building a new bridge across the River Severn. These include:

·       A new access path provided over the Kepax site to get to the bridge

·       Improvements to the existing Severn Way path to the south of the bridge

·       Improvements to a route to the east of the river from Gheluvelt Park to the City Centre

·       Providing pedestrian/cycle links from the bridge to the National Cycle Network, route 45.

To view the high level proposals please visit the Kepax bridge haye your say page on the Council website

If you have any comments please email majorprojects@worcestershire.gov.uk

Deadline for comments is Friday 24 July 2020.

Any comments received after this date will not be considered. Any personal information provided will not be shared with any other party and will be used for internal purposes only.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to respond directly to your feedback, however, all comments will be considered and a summary published as part of the planning application which is due to be submitted later this year.

The Council will look to hold drop in sessions to enable residents to talk through the plans in more detail in July if Covid-19 restrictions allow. These will be communicated in due course.