A NEW bridge is to be built over the River Roch for use by cyclists and pedestrians.

The bridge, to be built by Bury Council, will cross the river east of Redmere Drive meaning there will be a new link between the Fishpool district and the Pilsworth area.

The bridge would link the Roch Valley Greenway either side of the river which has been severed since the existing privately owned bridge was closed to all traffic in April 2019 after being closed to vehicular traffic in September 2010, as it was deemed to be inadequate following independent assessments.

A Bury planning control meeting heard the council had been unable to establish who owned the existing bridge, which is 40 metres to the north of the new location.

Speaking in favour of the plans was Steve Brace, from Atkins Engineering, which has been engaged by Bury Council to advise on the Bee Network walking and cycling routes, which run throughout Greater Manchester.

Bury has been allocated £12m for various schemes linked to the network, the new river bridge being part of one.

Mr Brace said: “The bridge will encourage residents to make more short trips by bike and on foot, more active travel.

“At present the closest pedestrian crossing is a mile away, for cyclists it’s 1.5 miles.”

Vehicular use of the bridge will be limited with access control bollards installed but car access will be allowed to access the fisheries nearby.

The bridge will be a single-span steel truss bridge of 41.58m length and designed to carry three tonnes.

The proposed development would mean the felling of mature sycamore, scrub and habitat on the east side of the river and the temporary loss of around 1,200 square metres of semi-mature plantation and bird nesting habitat.

A restoration plan to replace habitat has been agreed.

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.