£5 million bridge planned over new A5 stretch at Oswestry

Plans have been revealed for a £5 million pedestrian and cycle bridge crossing the A5 as part of a major development in Shropshire.

An aerial view of Mile End Roundabout. A new roundabout, road and bridge are planned as part of a major new development.
An aerial view of Mile End Roundabout. A new roundabout, road and bridge are planned as part of a major new development.

The Shropshire Council scheme is part of the enabling works for the proposed Oswestry Innovation Park near Mile End Roundabout.

Plans to construct a second island to the north east of Mile End were approved by planners earlier this year, and will include closing off the current A5 north exit off the existing roundabout.

The 59-metre bridge will cross the newly-created stretch of the A5 to the north of the new roundabout, with ramps either side connecting the B4579 Shrewsbury Road to the west with the proposed Innovation Park to the east.

A planning statement by WSP, which has designed the scheme on behalf of Shropshire Council, says: “Shropshire Council has secured £5 million funding of Growth Deal funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to construct a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A5 to the north of the Mile End Roundabout.

A map showing the location of the new bridge over the new road, with the existing roundabout below

“A pedestrian and cycle link is an aspiration of Shropshire Council and is included in local planning policy and the need for a pedestrian bridge was mentioned several times in the public consultation for the Mile End Junction Improvements Scheme.

“The proposed scheme forms essential infrastructure which will link the sustainable urban extension (SUE) to the west of the proposed scheme with the future Oswestry Innovation Park located to the east.

“This strategic location will accommodate a mix of new housing, employment land, a local centre, a network of open space and green infrastructure.”

The bridge will be 3.5 metres wide and cyclists will be “encouraged to dismount” before using it.

WSP says the bridge will be constructed from prefabricated steel and will be built at the same time as the new roundabout to minimise disruption.

A transport statement supporting the application predicts the bridge will initially be used for around 53 trips a day for leisure purposes, rising to around 1,000 daily movements once the Innovation Park is completed.

The planning statement concludes: “The proposed scheme is fundamental to delivering development allocated in the Shropshire Local Development Framework.

“The supporting environmental reports prepared in support of the planning application help to demonstrate that the mitigated impacts of the proposed scheme are outweighed by the wider benefits to the local communities and residents of Oswestry.

“It is expected that applying appropriate conditions to the planning consent will ensure sustainable and effective delivery of the proposed scheme.

“The proposed scheme is needed to enable the future Oswestry Innovation Park to comply with development guidelines for the allocated employment site, (planning policy) states that there should be ‘provision of sustainable transport improvements associated with the site, and provision of pedestrian and cycle links across the A5 to the proposed Eastern Gateway Sustainable Urban Extension’.

“The proposed scheme will also have the ancillary benefits of encouraging walking and cycling which will promote healthy lifestyles.

“During the recent pandemic the need for improved walking and cycling routes has been demonstrated nationally and the proposed scheme will provide a safe means of crossing the A5 which will improve users’ access to safe walking and cycling environments.”

The planning application will be decided by Shropshire Council.

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