Progress made on finally fixing Kingsweston Iron Bridge as plans are lodged

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Bristol City Council is investing £1m in the project ot fix the bridge between Blaise and Kings Weston estates

A £1-million plan to finally fix Kingsweston Iron Bridge, which shut in 2015, has made major progress this month.

The historic footbridge was closed seven years ago after a lorry driver drove into it, leaving walkers cut off from Blaise and Kings Weston estates. A second lorry drove into it in 2018.

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But now Bristol City Council has applied for planning permission to reinstall and raise the eight-metre long bridge, marking a milestone in efforts to repair and reopen it.

Writing on Facebook, Mayor Marvin Rees said: “We’re investing £1 million to fix Bristol’s Kingsweston Iron Bridge, after it was hit by a driver who didn’t stop. Support our plans to reinstall the bridge in a raised position, before they’re voted on by the planning committee.”

The Grade-II listed bridge was built around 1820 and crosses over the busy Kings Weston Road. Previous efforts to repair it stalled after Historic England raised heritage concerns, and then no funding could be found for the works. But in February this year, Conservative councillors persuaded the mayor to include £1 million in this year’s budget for the bridge.

The Iron Bridge connects Kingsweston House and Blaise Castle.The Iron Bridge connects Kingsweston House and Blaise Castle.
The Iron Bridge connects Kingsweston House and Blaise Castle. | Google

The repair plans are now out for public consultation, and need planning permission before any works can begin. If the plans are approved, the council would raise the bridge by just over one metre and install new stone access steps. Raising the structure should protect it from any more lorries crashing into and damaging it.

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Contractors would first dismantle the damaged bridge, repair it off-site, then reassemble it on-site and install it at the same location, but one metre higher. According to planning documents, designers looked at installing wheelchair-friendly ramps to access the raised bridge, but ruled this out as too damaging to the historic surroundings.

A design and access statement said: “Due to the fall in ground levels away from the bridge, significant ramp structures 20-metres in length would be required. These long ramps, with guard rails, would add very substantial costs to the works, while having a significant adverse visual and physical impact on the adjacent listed terrace wall.”

Full details of the works can be found on the council’s website using the reference: 22/02249/FB. Several neighbours have written to the council’s planning department, supporting the plans.

One said: “I hugely welcome fixing this footbridge. I regularly need to cross the main road near the bridge with my toddler and dog, which often feels unsafe due to the speed of the traffic. It would be so much safer for us to cross over into Kings Weston using a dedicated footbridge.”

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