Redditch Borough councillors are set to consider maintaining a former railway bridge in Studley rather than removing it.

The council’s Executive Committee approved a report this week (Tuesday, September 12) proposing £80,000 of repairs to the bridge over Green Lane as well as contracting Warwickshire County Council to inspect it until 2040 at a cost of £2,500 a year.

The proposals will now be considered by councillors at the authority’s full council meeting on Monday, September 25.

Leader of the council Matt Dormer said: “This new way forward takes into account the changes in the situation since 2019 and proposes a cost-effective resolution to the problem, while ensuring that a piece of infrastructure with clear value to local people stays well-maintained.”

The former railway bridge, which now holds a cycle path, is in Stratford District but Redditch Borough Council owns it due to a quirk of the new town expansion of Redditch last century.

In 2019, a report set out that the deteriorating overpass was presenting complex maintenance issues and prompted a plan to replace it with a ground level crossing to be paid for by building two new homes on another part of the site.

But strong local support for the bridge, as well as an increased focus on sustainability and advice from Stratford District Council that planning permission might be refused for the new homes, has led to the new proposals.

The council’s portfolio holder for environmental services Brandon Clayton said: “We’ve listened to what people have said about how they use this bridge and we agree that the environmental benefits to the local community of leaving it in place the walking, the cycling, the green space, now outweigh the benefits of removing it.

“We understood people’s concerns about the ground level alternative and while the bridge may be across the border in Studley, we’ve heard from many Redditch residents who use it and benefit from it, and so we have recommended this new approach for the members of the council to consider.”