Well-used Uppermill bridge set to be replaced

Oldham Council has confirmed its plans to replace a well-used bridleway bridge that had to be removed on safety grounds last year.

Back in May 2020, the wooden bridge over Church Road in Uppermill - part of the Pennine Bridleway – had to be closed immediately after defects were spotted in the structure.

Since then, council officers have been working to secure funding to replace the bridge.

The authority say it has now been informed that Natural England and the Pennine National Trails Partnership have granted £32,500 towards a replacement, while the council will pay the remaining £37,500 out of its budget.

The new bridge will have steel beams which will be faced in timber and all other elements of the bridge will be timber. The bridge will look similar to its ‘sister’ bridge at Station Road in Uppermill. 

Once the bridge has been manufactured, the council say it hopes it will be put in place by the spring and the route will then be re-opened to all users.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture, said: “There’s not a lot of good news about at the minute but we’re sure this replacement will go down well with local residents and all those who use the bridleway.

“Due to the current situation funds are tight but our officers have worked really hard to find money to replace the bridge as we know it’s a popular route for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. We’d also like to thank Natural England and the Pennine National Trails Partnership for their contribution.

“We appreciate removing the bridge caused issues, but we had to do it for safety reasons and to protect the public.

“Until the work is complete, people can carry on using the temporary bridleway diversion that is in place.”

Preparatory work at the site has already started, including the clearing of vegetation, improvements to the pathway and removal of the remnants of the old timber footbridge.

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