“IF the bridge is so dangerous they should shut it now for all traffic.”
That’s the message to Redditch Borough Council from protesters campaigning to save the old railway bridge which carries the Sustrans Route 5 walking and cycling path.
Last week’s full council meeting at the Town Hall rubber stamped an earlier decision to demolish the bridge, which spans Green Lane, and instead re-route it to street level forcing users to cross the busy commuter rat-run.
The bridge, which carried the old railway line from Redditch south towards Evesham, has been declared to be in a poor state and costly to repair, while demolishing it would have the bonus of freeing up enough land to build two new houses for the borough council’s housing stock.
Councillor Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank & Feckenham) has described the issue as one of safety.
He said: “Imagine if the bridge collapsed when someone was on it or a brick fell out and hit and killed a driver passing under it.
“We have taken advice from the experts on the best way forward and this way will make it safer for all.”
However campaigner Ed Thomas from Oakenshaw, who regularly uses the route, which links Brickyard Lane in Studley to Nine Days Lane by the Alexandra Hospital, said if the danger to drivers was so high, the road should be shut immediately to all traffic.
“The bridge is a fairly substantial thing which is unlikely to collapse under the weight of a few cyclists and walkers passing over it.
“However if it is as bad as Coun Clayton claims, a brick could easily become dislodged and fall on traffic.
“If this is a case of safety and the situation is so serious, the road should be closed forthwith.”
Under the current plans for the bridge, the path would be re-routed to street level where users would have two small refuges to protect them from traffic.