REDDITCH Borough Council has snubbed an invitation to discuss the fate of the Green Lane railway bridge.
The offer was extended by Studley Parish Council after Redditch voted to demolish the bridge, now a footpath and cycleway, on the grounds that it was unsafe and maintaining it was too expensive.
The bridge sits in Warwickshire, in Studley, but was inherited by the borough council from the Redditch Development Corporation.
Redditch made the decision to demolish without consulting local residents and users or representatives from Studley, and also voted to straighten out a sharp bend in Green Lane, which is the responsibility of Warwickshire County Council.
“What angers me is that there’s been no consultation with anyone over this,” said Stratford District Councillor Peter Hencher-Serafin (Lib Dem, Studley & Mappleborough Green).
“It’s just something you do not do, go behind somebody’s back.”
Redditch’s proposals would route the path at street level across Green Lane, which is a busy commuter rat run.
In addition, it would demolish a nearby void house which it owns and build two new four-bedroom houses on the land released by the removal of the railway embankment.
Redditch council says if it the bridge isn’t demolished a full structural survey would be required, costing £20,000 to £25,000 plus the costs of any remedial work and maintenance. However, Coun Hencher-Serafin, who has spent a lifetime in the building trade, dismissed the Redditch figures.
“They’re making excuses. If that bridge is their responsibility they haven’t done much to it in years and far from being in danger of falling down it will still be there in another 100 years’ time,” he said. “Besides, we all know, the safest way to cross a road is a bridge.”
Studley Parish Council had invited representatives from Redditch to discuss their plans but the borough council declined saying all the information was available on their website.