THE old railway bridge across Green Lane between Redditch and Studley is set to be demolished.
Borough councillors voted unanimously in favour of demolishing the bridge, its embankment and to have the path re-routed enabling users to cross Green Lane at street level.
The crossing will not be controlled but will have two ‘refuges’ in the middle for walkers and cyclists.
The bridge carries part of Sustrans Route 5, part of a national network of paths for walkers and cyclists, and connects Nine Days Lane in Redditch with Brickyard Lane in Studley.
At the full council meeting on Monday night, Coun Craig Warhurst (Con, Astwood Bank & Feckenham) said: “The bridge is in absolute disrepair and the house next to it is void.
Council Leader Matt Dormer said: “It’s a shame to remove an old bridge, however the safety of our residents is far more important.”
Officers who inspected the site said if the bridge was not removed, an experienced structural bridge engineer would need to do a full structural survey.
They said it would cost the council in the region of £20,000-£25,000.
Ed Thomas, who regularly uses the route on bike rides from his Oakenshaw home, said: “I’m fuming at the decision.
“I went to the meeting with two engineer friends who believe the project is wrongly costed.
“The council wants to remove this historical bridge, which in my opinion is safe, just to replace it with more homes so it can make more money.
“Now women and children will be forced to go down onto the dangerous pathway below.”