BROMSGROVE residents have slammed plans for a new footbridge across a busy section of the A38 calling it ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unnecessary’.
The new addition, which will replace the ‘dangerous’ crossing off Bant Mill Road, near the New Road Junction, was announced last week.
The footbridge is the first of nine separate projects being implemented as part of the ‘Bromsgrove Town Centre Network: Unlocking Growth in Bromsgrove’, which received £3.43million in Government funding.
Aiming to urge people to walk and cycle rather than use their cars, the plans have faced much backlash from residents who think the funds should be used elsewhere.
Douglas Collins, who has lived on Bant Mill Road for 45 years, said: “It is totally unnecessary and ridiculous.
“I feel like we should have been informed and spoken to before this even reached the press.
“We want to see a plan of exactly what is going to happen and how it will affect the surroundings, for example how many trees will be cut down?
“The footbridge will look directly into my window, it will totally change the outlook the area.
“Students and rail users just walk down New Road so there is no need for it.
“It is all nonsense.”
Residents also took to social media to express their concerns, with alternative suggestions ranging from a western bypass to divert traffic to a footbridge built further down the A38 off the Charford Road Junction.
One user said: “The only way to ease the traffic congestion is to build a bypass from Wychbold to Lydiate Ash to take all the traffic that comes off the motorway every time the M5 is closed and it comes up the A38.”
In response to this, Coun Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure said the scale of funding available through this bid was insufficient to fund a new road.
“So, the bid was prepared by the county council to tackle the known issue of poor walking and cycling facilities in the town and directly contributes towards congestion as local people, in many cases, have no option but to drive.
“The National Productivity Investment Fund from the Government provided an opportunity to bid for funding for smaller improvements – under £5million – which would support development growth and tackle congestion.
“The £3.4million funding we received from the Government will be used to provide a much sought after integrated network of attractive and safe walking and cycling routes, linking the railway station, the town centre and residential and employment areas.
“The case for a multi-million pound Western Bypass in Bromsgrove was considered as part of the development of the Bromsgrove Local Plan but was discounted as part of that process.”