THE NEW Cofton footbridge which crosses the main rail line from Birmingham to Bristol has been officially opened following a long-running campaign.
Network Rail (NR) met with Barnt Green Parish Council, the footpath officer and The Ramblers Association after the closure of the crossing which took pedestrians from Cofton Church Lane to Bittell Farm Road.
NR claimed at the time users were not stopping at the ‘central refuge’ and there was insufficient warning time on the line which was used by up to 300 trains-a-day, some travelling at 90mph.
When the crossing was shut in July 2015 calls were made for a solution to be found but NR claimed the path was insufficiently used.
Then, following pressure from Barnt Green Parish Council, the footpath officer and local residents, Network Rail set up a camera to gauge the footfall and in December 2016 agreed to build a bridge.
The bridge has now been opened and Barnt Green Parish Council held its annual Community Walk with each of the three varied distance walks featuring a route over the new footbridge.
A Network Rail spokesman said the footbridge provided a safe way to cross the railway in Cofton.
“We have provided a clearly marked route to the bridge and are working with Worcestershire County Council to make this the official public right of way.”