Lydbrook Bridge forms part of the 136 mile Wye Valley Walk
Herefordshire Council is working with Gloucestershire County Council to ensure the long term sustainability of Lydbrook Bridge.
The bridge, which is an important connection across the River Wye between the two counties, is used by over 20,000 walkers every year as part of the 136 mile Wye Valley Walk.
The councils have commissioned a feasibility report, which details the proposed options for ensuring the bridge remains safe and securing the necessary funding to bring it back into use for people to enjoy now and in years to come. The project is due to commence in spring 2018 and will run in three phases over the coming years:
Phase 1: Ensure the bridge remains safe for those using the river beneath it
Phase 2: Select the best option and secure the necessary funding
Phase 3: Re-establish the crossing over the River Wye
Councillor Barry Durkin, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet member for transport and roads, said: "The feasibility report is an important first step to ensuring we can preserve this important river crossing for future generations to enjoy.
"The councils acknowledge that whichever option is agreed, significant internal and external funding will be required to successfully repair the bridge. We will continue working closely with community groups, which can access alternative funding sources such as the Big Lottery Fund. We will also work with our MPs to see if they're able to access further public funding."
Councillor Vernon Smith, Cabinet member for highways and flood at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "The former railway bridge at Lydbrook had to be closed due to it being unsafe. Safety has to be our number one priority, so the area remains fenced off to protect the public.
"We've commissioned a report which details the proposed options for ensuring the bridge remains safe and bringing it back into use for people to enjoy now and in years to come. We will continue to work with interested community groups and welcome their ideas on the best option going forward and how this can be funded."
Walkers are kindly reminded not to cross the bridge or remove the fencing, which is there to protect both them and the bridge from harm.
To find out more about the proposed options, please take a look at the feasibility report on the Lydbrook Bridge webpage.
If a community group is interested in working with the councils, please contact Gloucestershire County Council at email@example.com.