Spiralling costs have put paid to plans for a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the river in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The scheme, part of the World Class Stratford regeneration project, raised strong passions locally. A joint decision by Warwickshire County Council, Stratford District Council and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands not to build the bridge has now been announced.
Chris Saint, county council cabinet member for economic development, said: “A budget review highlighted a significant increase in costs since the original estimate of £2 million was established in 2005.
“That figure has now increased to £3.3 million due to a combination of factors including the increased world price of steel, the need for additional flood mitigation measures and general construction sector super-inflation over the past three years.
“Neither the county or district councils are in a position to fund the shortfall so we have reluctantly decided to remove the bridge from the World Class Stratford programme.”
Coun Saint said other elements of the programme would go ahead, including landscaping of Bancroft Gardens and improvements to the Waterside and Southern Lane area.
Stratford district council leader Les Topham said: “Having discussed this at length with colleagues at the county council and Advantage West Midlands, we agreed to call a halt on the bridge. At £2 million it represented good value for money and would have added to the town’s visitor appeal, but we are not able to extend the financial commitment to meet the new estimate.”
A total of £312,000 has been spent by Warwickshire County Council on the bridge project to date in taking the scheme from initial concept design to a point at which it was ready for planning consideration.