PLANNING permission has been granted for the inclusion of a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists at a proposed innovation park in Oswestry.

The bridge will be part of the development at Mile End Roundabout and will link the proposed park with one of the main gateways into the town.

It will provide a safe crossing over the new arm of the A5/A483 to the north of the new, smaller island which is being constructed as part of the redesign of the current roundabout.

Shropshire Council has been granted planning permission for the bridge which would link Shrewsbury Road in Oswestry to the planned Oswestry Innovation Park once work begins.

Councillor Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council and portfolio holder for assets, economic growth and regeneration, believes the bridge will play a vital part in unlocking the potential of the development.

He said: “This bridge will form a really important part in unlocking the potential of this gateway to Oswestry.

“The bridge has satisfied requirements of the planning authority and there are a number of misconceptions around the use of the bridge by cyclists.

“We have satisfied all of these concerns and there is no need for those using bicycles to dismount to use the bridge or the ramps.

“The design is appropriate for its intended use and providing a higher level of infrastructure provision would not be the best use of public funds.

“Work is ongoing to consider connectivity from the footbridge into the town for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We will also be looking at opportunities to connect the footbridge with the existing Public Right of Way to provide an alternative crossing over the A5.”

The work is part of a wider scheme which has secured funding from the Marches LEP through the Government’s Growth Deal and the Housing Infrastructure Fund through Homes England.

Cllr Charmley added: “There’s a common misconception that this bridge is costing us £5 million, but that was the funding allocated by the Marches LEP. The cost of the bridge is around £1.7 million.

“The funding secured from the Marches LEP and Homes England will support the programme of activities including the road improvements, bridge and other associated works to support the development of the Oswestry Innovation Park, which will bring hundreds of high-quality jobs and opportunities to the town.”