COUNCIL chiefs have accepted calls to improve accessibility at Lucy’s Mill Bridge in Stratford.
But sadly while Warwickshire County Council acknowledged there would be merit in making some improvements, they insisted there were constraints that would need to be overcome. They include using private land, which would require a compulsory purchase order which is unlikely to be granted.
And they also maintained funding for the footbridge – which runs alongside the Seven Meadows Road bridge – was likely to be severely restricted for the foreseeable future and any improvement scheme would have to be weighed up against other similar ones.
Currently, the bridge cannot be used by those in wheelchairs or by parents with prams, while cyclists are forced to carry their bikes over the steps.
It has been the subject of much speculation over the years with Stratford Voice campaigning vigorously for a replacement, but the scheme was abandoned owing to spiralling costs and local opposition back in 2009.
Two previous studies undertaken by the county council have shown upgrading the bridge in its existing location would not be feasible.
But campaign group Friends of Lucy’s Mill Bridge (FOLMB) is now looking to fund an architect review to once and for all convince council chiefs to change their minds.
FOLMB hope an upcoming charity walk and cycle ride will not only raise awareness of the difficulties residents face on a daily basis, but also raise funds for a host of charities.
The event, which is set to take place next Saturday April 11, will start from the Old Tramway Inn on Shipston Road at 9.30am.
Participants will take a seven mile round trip through the Recreation Ground and along part of The Greenway before making their way back across Lucy’s Mill Bridge to the finish line a few hours later.
And FOLMB chairman Ralph Brown is keen for walkers and riders of every ability to get involved.
Speaking to The Observer, he said: “Anyone is welcome to take part perhaps with a bike they’ve probably got in the shed.
“Participants can register online and there is also a sponsorship form so people can raise money for the charity of their choice.
“There are no roads to cross and we will have people to help with the bikes going up the steps of the bridge so there is no need to to worry about that.
“We would love to see friends, relatives and colleagues who fancy a friendly morning out doing their bit for charity and raising awareness of the bridge’s lack of accessibility at the same time.”
Visit www.lucysmillbridge.co.uk/bikeride to sign up for the event.