Work to establish the practicality of building a new bridge over the River Avon in Warwick has been given the green light.
Plans have been proposed to build a bridge over the River Avon at St Nicholas Park and Myton School. It is thought that the new bridge would encourage more people to walk and cycle into the town.
According to the proposals, the bridge that would join Myton Fields to St Nicholas Park to help create sustainable travel links between the town centre, schools along Myton Road and any current and new housing south of Warwick.
Following discussions between officers and the district and county councils, there was an investigation into how much a potential new bridge could cost.
It has been estimated that a ‘relatively standard’ bridge would cost around £2million.
However, in the report it also says that to keep in with the heritage settings of the area the bridge is likely to cost up to £4million.
Warwick District Council’s Executive Committee approved the proposal to investigate the feasibility of the new bridge last night.
Further steps for this proposal will also involve consulting residents, visitors, businesses and local groups.
It has been estimated that the feasibility study would cost around £60,000.
According to the council “a bridge of exemplary design would be necessary and it is hoped that world-class design talent will tender for the project”.
The study will also investigate improving the car park at Myton Fields by potentially opening it all year round.
Cllr Stephen Cross, portfolio holder for development, said: “If the bridge proposal were to progress it would represent a huge investment in Warwick Town Centre and we will be looking for the feasibility study to demonstrate that the new bridge will bring the positive improvements to the town centre for businesses and residents that we currently envisage.”
Cllr Dave Shilton, portfolio holder for Neighbourhood, said: “Part of this project will be to investigate improving Myton Fields car park.
“This is currently used on a seasonal basis, but it is expected that a new bridge will generate more visitors who want to start their visit to Warwick at this point throughout the whole year.
“It will also allow for the increase in visitors we are anticipating, following the improvements to St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre. Even if the bridge idea doesn’t proceed, there’s still a very strong case for improving the car parking.”
Labour councillor John-Paul Bromley queries the council’s decision to go ahead with a feasibility study.
He said: “What a waste of money to propose and research an idea that has no bearing or need.
“This bridge will be situated between two existing bridges, Castle Bridge and the cycle path and footpath bridge over the Avon.
“The idea that people from the new estates will cycle down to Warwick, using the new bridge is ridiculous, from either direction of the Myton Road.
“Unless there is to be a cycle path straight through Warwick School. Really is that more about improving the access to Warwick School and serving Warwick School?”