REDDITCH Borough councillors are set to consider maintaining a council-owned former railway bridge in Studley, rather than removing it.
The council’s Executive Committee approved a report proposing £80,000 of repairs to the bridge over Green Lane, and contracting Warwickshire County Council to inspect it until 2040, at £2,500 a year.
The proposals will now be considered by councillors at the authority’s Full Council meeting on Monday September 25.
The bridge, which used to hold a railway line and now holds a cycle path, is in Stratford District but Redditch Borough Council owns it owing to a quirk of the new town expansion of Redditch last century.
In 2019 a report to councillors in Redditch set out that the deteriorating overpass was presenting complex maintenance issues, prompting a plan to replace it with a ground level crossing to be paid for by building two new homes on another part of the site.
However, strong local support for keeping the bridge, together with an increased focus on local sustainable transport infrastructure and advice from Stratford District Council that its planning committee would be minded to refuse permission for the new homes, has led to new proposals.
Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for environmental services, Coun Brandon Clayton, said: “We’ve listened to what people have said about how they use this bridge and we agree that the environmental benefits to the local community of leaving it in place, the walking, the cycling, the green space, now outweigh the benefits of removing it.
“We understood people’s concerns about the ground level alternative.
“And while the bridge may be across the border in Studley, we’ve heard from many Redditch residents who use it and benefit from it, and so we have recommended this new approach for the members of the council to consider.”
Leader of the Council, Coun Matt Dormer, added: “This new way forward takes into account the changes in the situation since 2019 and proposes a cost-effective resolution to the problem, while ensuring that a piece of infrastructure with clear value to local people stays well-maintained.”