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Have your say on £3 million canal bridge plan for Pelsall

By Jordan Reynolds | Pelsall | News | Published:

Residents can now have their say on controversial plans to build a new bridge over the Essington and Wyrley Canal.

The current bridge in Pelsall

A consultation has opened into the £3 million plan to build a new bridge next to the narrow old 1800s one, after a proposal was thrown out by the Secretary of State in 2015 because it could encroach on common land in Pelsall.

Land at Moat Farm pool was identified for the 2015 scheme together with a strip of land to the east of Norton Road, south of the canal.

Now Walsall Council has identified land at High Bridges, Pelsall, for the scheme.

Visualisation of the new bridge looking from the north-west. Photo: Walsall Council

The council says in the consultation information: "The existing York’s Bridge dates back to the mid-1800s.

"Its brick-arch construction, poor alignments and lack of footways make it unsuitable for modern traffic and unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists.

"The bridge structure has suffered over recent decades and the bridge is currently the subject of a 7.5 tonne weight limit — well below the national requirement of 44 tonnes.

"If no action is taken the bridge will continue to weaken to the point where closure to all road traffic might have to be considered.

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"Options to strengthen the existing bridge have been considered extensively however, unfortunately, these options have had to be discounted as they could not ensure the bridge would conform to current design standards or address the issues associated with poor carriageway alignment.

"As such, a new bridge is the only solution that will address the current problems associated with the existing bridge."

Recommendations

Recommendations were put to cabinet in December 2017 to approve a new pre-application consultation to undertake works to facilitate construction of the new bridge.

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The public consultation opened earlier this month and will run until April 5.

Consultation road-show events are being held by the council at various locations in Pelsall.

The first event will be held on February 26 at Pelsall Community Centre from 2pm to 4pm.

After the consultation has closed a formal planning application will be submitted in May.

Walsall Council said a start date for construction cannot be 'tightly defined', but that construction of the new bridge would take up to 18 months.

For more information visit https://go.walsall.gov.uk/yorks-bridge

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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