A TOWN resident is spearheading a campaign to save the old railway bridge across Green Lane between Redditch and Studley.
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.
However plans before the borough’s full council meeting this Monday, September 23, would see the bridge and its embankment demolished, the path re-routed and users forced to cross Green Lane – a commuter rat run – at street level.
The crossing will not be controlled but will have two ‘refuges’ in the middle for walkers and cyclists.
Ed Thomas regularly uses the route on bike rides from his Oakenshaw home.
“On the one hand they’re telling us we must all be greener and on the other they’re bringing walkers and cyclists into direct conflict with drivers,” he said.
“I use this route to Coughton Court and the low traffic route to Alcester as a fitness regime to keep my diabetes in check, and have been doing so rather than fighting the traffic at the Crabbs Cross and McDonalds islands which are death traps.
“People I’ve spoken to are bewildered at what the council is planning to do – it just doesn’t make sense in this day and age,” said Ed.
Last week’s council executive meeting heard the bridge was in a poor state of repair and it was more cost effective to demolish it than repair it.
Councillor Brandon Clayton, whose portfolio covers the environment and who also chairs the council’s climate change committee said the primary driving force was safety.
“Imagine if the bridge collapsed when someone was on it or a brick fell out and hit and killed a driver passing under it.
“This is a safety issue. The council is in a no-win situation but we have taken advice from the experts on the best way forward and this way will make it safer for all.”