REDDITCH Borough Council has been accused over a dereliction of duty regarding the care of the railway bridge over Green Lane in Studley.
The bridge, now part of a Sustainable Transport – or Sustrans route – for walkers and cyclists has been earmarked for demolition by the Borough Council after various claims of it being damaged, unsafe, or too costly to maintain.
However Parish and Stratford District Councillor Peter Hencher-Serafin (Lib Dem, Studley and Mappleborough Green) told a meeting of Studley Parish council that he had discovered Redditch had last carried out any maintenance on the bridge 12 years ago.
“This amounts to a dereliction of duty. If they have inspected it recently to substantiate these claims they are making, where is the report?” he said.
“What we do know is that the highways authority, Warwickshire County Council, inspected the bridge in 2018 and they found its condition to be ‘Good’.”
He added that Warwickshire, which carries out inspection biannually, would be looking at the bridge again this year.
The bridge actually lies in Warwickshire, in Studley Parish, but is the responsibility of Redditch Borough Council after being acquired by the former Redditch Development Corporation.
Parish Councillors also agreed to seek confirmation from the Leader of Redditch Borough Council, Matt Dormer (Con, West) of his offer, printed in the Redditch Standard, to ‘give the bridge away for free, warts and all’.
A petition to save the bridge from Redditch Borough Council’s bulldozers has accumulated more than 1,700 signatures and will be presented to Stratford District Council next month.