MORE than 10,000 residents of Bradford on Avon are being asked for their views on plans to create a safe footpath crossing over the River Avon.

The consultation has been launched by Bradford on Avon Town Council and the Bristol-based Sustrans group.

The council has allocated £29,930 to the project following decisions taken in July and September.

Sustrans is the national custodian for the National Cycle Network – the UK-wide network of over 12,000 miles of signed paths and routes for walking, wheeling, cycling and exploring outdoors.

Their joint aim is to consult locals on the Safer Bradford on Avon Crossing, aiming to create a safe walking and cycling link across the river.

Wiltshire Times: Residents will be consulted on whether they would like to have a crossing safer than Bradford on

They are hosting two meetings on Thursday, December 7 at the Town Market from 8am to 1pm, or at St Margaret’s Hall from 5pm to 7pm. Residents will also be able to participate online.

As part of the consultation, Sustrans will be asking residents whether they wish to see a new footbridge for cyclists and pedestrians and where they think it should be.

The town's mayor, Cllr Katie Vigar, said: “We have commissioned Sustrans to conduct a first stage consultation for a strategic outline case.

"Whatever is finalised will probably need to be funded from a government pot by Wiltshire Council.

"Sustrans will be engaging with the local community to find out the best and most viable place to create a safer crossing.

"Some people favour modifications to the town bridge, so we have asked Sustrans to look at all the ideas and engage with people to see what they would like."

The move follows concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists using the town bridge to cross the river.

The volume of traffic through Bradford on Avon means that vehicles often pass close to people walking and cycling over the road bridge.

The town council wishes to make it safer and easier for people crossing the river and residents’ views on a new footbridge could form part of the consultation.

Meanwhile, Local architect Martin Valatin has informally submitted drawings for a new covered footbridge over the River Avon to the town council.

It would cross the river from the town’s library on the south side to Kingston Square on the north side.

Wiltshire Times: Martin Valatin's design for a new Bradford on Avon footbridgeMartin Valatin's design for a new Bradford on Avon footbridge (Image: Freelancer)

Mr Valatin said: “It would also provide a new gallery and extension to the Bradford in Avon Museum.

“I have submitted copies to the town’s mayor Cllr Katie Vigar and to Cllr Tim Trimble and they thought it was beautiful.”

The footbridge would enable walkers and cyclists to pass underneath the covered extension which would be accessed from the museum above the library.

Mr Valatin estimates the building cost to be around £850,000 but his designs have never been formally discussed by councillors.

Cllr Vigar added: "Martin has done a very interesting design but we are not yet at the stage of considering designs."

Meanwhile, the town council hopes to be able to announce soon the results of Wiltshire Council’s six-month traffic modelling options.

The council said: “The results are expected shortly and we hope to have the report available to read on the town council website by Christmas.”

The modelling exercise follows the Future of Transport consultation carried out in Bradford on Avon in late 2021/early 2022.

The council is looking for ways of addressing the key priorities that emerged from the consultation to reduce traffic volume, improve air quality and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

A public presentation will be held in the new year to allow residents to ask questions and comment on the outcome of the report.