RESIDENTS across two counties are joining forces to form a pressure group to reopen a popular Wye Valley footbridge.
The former Lydbrook Railway Bridge that connects Lydbrook to Welsh Bicknor in Herefordshire has been closed since February 2016 and residents fear its prolonged closure is having a negative impact on the area.
But now residents and councillors hope forming a steering group will prove decisive in reopening the popular footpath.
Local district councillor Sid Phelps (Green, Lydbrook and Ruardean), who helped organise a public meeting at the Wye Valley Youth Hostel on Sunday, said it was really positive to see so many people attend and said: “We had more than 60 people turn up.
“We have decided to set up a steering group to push for the bridge to be reopened.”
The cost of repairing the bridge is unknown but sources who have seen the county council’s feasibility report say it could be in the region of between £700k and £1m.
Drybrook and Lybrook County Councillor Terry Hale (Con) was also at the meeting said he would be looking to work with colleagues at Shire Hall to find a solution.
John Lane, Gloucestershire’s public rights of way officer, said: “The former railway bridge is currently closed because engineers have determined that it is unsafe to use and options for its repair are currently being examined by Amey and the local authority.”
PICTURE CAPTION: LYDBROOK FOOTBRIDGE: The former railway bridge crossing the River Wye with inset Councillor Sid Phelps at the closed Lydbrook footbridge and last week’s public meeting.