Preliminary work begins on York’s Bridge

Walsall Council has released details about the possible replacement of the historic York’s Bridge on Norton Road, as part of a modernisation scheme.

Plans for a new bridge

Consulting Engineers Atkins, which has been appointed to design the structure, has already started to undertake nature surveys and ground investigations are to begin shortly.

Coun Tom Ansell, Walsall Council cabinet member for transport said that although funding has not yet been secured, he hoped the plans would help to make the bridge, close to the Finger Post pub, and road safer.

“The bridge dates from the 19th century and simply wasn’t built for 21st century levels of traffic,” he said.

“The bridge currently has a weight restriction on it and a lot of work needs to be done in order to help secure the money to fund it which is the point we are at.

“A new bridge will help straighten the road with a view to making it safer.”

Over the past 12 years, ten road traffic incidents, with a total of 16 casualties, have been reported to Walsall Council.

It is thought a new bridge will be built next to the existing one because of the numbers of vehicles that use the road every day.

Cllr Ansell added: “Our engineers first looked at closing the bridge and the road entirely so they could replace it.

“That’s just not the best option as the road is used by thousands of cars a day travelling from Staffordshire to Walsall.

“The option of building a bridge next to the current one is much more preferable. Basically, it means traffic can still flow along the Norton Road while the new bridge is built.

“The cost of the scheme will be become clearer following upcoming ground investigation works.”

ADDED – 4.25pm

Couns Marco Longhi and Garry Perry said they were keen to hear local residents’ concerns.

“This area of Common land is very important to many local people and I want to make sure everyone’s views are heard,” said Coun Longhi.

“The existing narrow bridge is grade II listed and if it could be preserved (eg. as a bridle path) many local people would be much more amenable with the proposed development, which I do believe is essential on safety grounds.

“It is also important that if any common land is taken as part of the development then it should be replaced with other land. For example, the area including Moat Farm pool, which the Friends of Pelsall Common look after, could be designated as common land in exchange.”

Coun Garry Perry added: “It’s vitally important that we get the issues surrounding this project dealt with in the most appropriate way, particularly dealing with some of the unhelpful rumours that have been circulating.

“First and foremost, the people living near York’s Bridge need to know the reasons why a new bridge is required, particularly exacerbated by the re-placement of the bridge and increase in the weight limit at Lime Lane (Cannock side).

“Secondly, there are, quite rightly, concerns from these local residents in relation to traffic volumes, size of vehicles and environmental impact. These will be listened to and addressed  as part of the Consultation.

“In terms of wider involvement local input from the Friends of Pelsall Commons and Pelsall Civic Society will be a vital component in seeking the best possible outcome for Pelsall people and those affected.

“It appears clear already that there is support for the retention of York’s Bridge given its historic nature – something I am keen to pursue, even if it is retained as a footbridge alongside any new structure.

“Finally, it is not definite that funding for a bridge replacement will be granted, but given the accident rate, strengthening issues and possible weight overload something has to be done.

“There are issues to address and I will work with my colleagues in the coming weeks to ensure that the most factually correct information is conveyed and local concerns responded to.”

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6 Responses to Preliminary work begins on York’s Bridge

  1. CommonPeople says:

    Is it listed? I can’t find it on the statutory list http://www.walsall.gov.uk/index/listed_buildings.htm

    There are two bridges mentioned in Pelsall – the footbridge at Pelsall junction and the Pelsall Works Bridge – but not York’s.

    If it is, please can someone point me to it?

    Added: at5pm: it is locally listed (thanks, Garry!)

    http://www.walsall.gov.uk/index/locally_listed_buildings.htm – see the View the Local List pdf. On page 50 – the very last entry.

  2. stymaster says:

    I couldn’t find the bridge in the statutory list from the Walsall MBC website- have I missed something?

    Will this be the usual Walsall MBC consultation that involves not listening to local people, and making sure the results of the ‘consultation’ go missing, followed by any evidence of the consultation itself?

  3. I.Robinson says:

    for some reason the plans on walsall councils webb site come under the heading of “Yorks Bride”! Lets hope the other details are correct!

  4. Andrew Weller says:

    YORK’S BRIDGE PROJECT IF ALLOWED WILL BE DISASTEROUS FOR OUR VILLAGE

    We have to ask ourselves why do the authorities want to spend up to Four Million Pounds replacing two bridge on one Lane? the first bridge has been replaced, York’s bridge is intended to be next.
    Previous comments suggest we have to accept that a new bridge is to be built and that a campaign needs to be started to preserve the old bridge.

    Pelsall Civic Society don’t see the need for a new bridge, as this would be disastrous for our village.
    When we talk of the traffic increasing as a result of this new bridge been built, one of the main objections to this plan if allowed, as far we are concerned is the massive increase in Heavy Goods Vehicles passing through our village and all the problems associated with this, i.e. road safety for pedestrians, our village will become a Rat Run/Shortcut, Noise, Pollution, Damage to our existing roads and an increase in Vibration to properties along Wolverhampton and Norton Road, we are a small village and our roads cannot cope with the volume of traffic this project if allowed will create.

    Past Incidents
    Regarding incidents that have occurred at York’s Bridge over the years these could have been prevented or reduced, to date there isn’t one sign informing motorists travelling either way that this bridge requires care when approaching and crossing?

    Motive
    It has been known locally for many years that there are valuable resources in the fields adjacent Lime Lane, Coal and Clay. The Civic Society believe the authorities are making preparation plans long term regarding the replacement of bridges along Lime Lane, the extraction of the Coal and Clay, we have photographs of the coal and clay samples showing that they are at a depth of 57.5 meters 185 feet in old money.
    We can only assume by spending this amount of money on replacing the two bridges there are to be big gains long term i.e. after the extraction of the resources, an hole to be filled, a long term landfill site, as we know more and more rubbish is being recycled that means less landfill, it also means a landfill as big as this is going to take much longer to fill, many years.
    Our village will see Lorries coming from far and wide to dump rubbish; Pelsall had a landfill site up the Wood during the 1960,s the Grove landfill site bordering Pelsall is now coming to an end. Is it fair we should have another one?
    We believe these are the true intentions and reasons for the bridge replacements.

    Campaign.
    Our message to those who have made comments and all residents of our village. We should be starting a campaign to stop this new bridge been built in the first place.
    The authorities can repair the existing bridge, at a fraction of the cost of a replacement, implement traffic calming measures and enforce the existing 10 tonne weight restriction. Problem Solved
    Andrew Weller,
    Chair, Pelsall Civic Society

    • stymaster says:

      Andrew, you’re right on almost everything, except the calming. There’s no calming needed. Maybe a ‘SLOW’ warning approaching the bridge, though to be honest, anyone that can’t see you should approach with caution probably shouldn’t be driving…

      One thing I wonder about: since the other bridge has been upgraded, surely if mining were to take place off Lime Lane/Norton Rd, any traffic could just head up to the A5, a road much more suited to large, heavy vehicles?

      • Andrew Weller says:

        Hello Stymaster,
        If the bridge was replaced, and extraction commence then a landfill, during both, surely lorries would come from all directions both into the site and out, i.e. do you think Lorries taking clay to local brickworks would go via A5 to Aldridge when the journey would take them less than 10 minutes through the village.
        Also what happens at peak times along the A5, M6 it is possible Sat Nav’s would direct them through the village towards B,ham and beyond. Just a thought. Regarding the Slow sign needed at the bridge, I agree, we do get people travelling through the village who are not aware of the caution required to approach this bridge.
        In fact it would be a good idea for the councill to install signs now to prevent any future incidents, hopefully our Councillor’s will read our comments and act. Regards Andrew

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