PLANS have been submitted to Bury Council to build a new footbridge and cycleway close to the Daisyfield Viaduct.

The proposed structure crossing the River Irwell would replace the existing narrow footbridge which, at just one metre width, is only wide enough to allow for one pedestrian passing and is not suitable for bikes.

The new steel bridge, according to the designs, would have a span of approximately 40 metres and have a width of approximately 4.2 metres.

A planning access and design statement, submitted as part of the applications, said: “The new single span steel bridge crossing will provide a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists over the River Irwell and will provide a safe and convenient route for existing / future residents to access the town centre and local schools.

“In addition, the new bridge crossing over the River Irwell and the route along the canal towpath will provide a more direct route between residential neighbourhoods in west Bury and north-east Radcliffe, local schools and Bury town centre.

The removal of the existing concrete bridge will also involve the removal of the central pier, aiding river flow.

The nearby viaduct is considered a heritage asset having been built for the Bolton-Bury-Rochdale railway line in the mid-19th century.

It crosses Wellington Street, the River Irwell and the then Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal,. But the railway line was abandoned in the 1970s and now forms part of the cycleway system around Bury.

“The existing narrow footbridge sits immediately to the south and below the viaduct,” said the planning statement. “It is generally an unattractive structure as well as being impractical for its current use. It is set at a low level with minimal impact on the setting of the viaduct.

“However, its removal, once the new bridge is built, will have a positive impact on the setting of the viaduct and the local environment.

“It will be set slightly higher above the river than the current footbridge. It is of a modern design in steel and, due to its finished colours, will be visible in the landscape.”

A decision will be made by Bury Council’s planning department at a later date.