‘Unique’ Lydney footbridge to be restored

The last surviving piece of infrastructure from the Severn & Wye Junction Railway is to be restored with the aid of grant funding.

The Dean Forest Railway is to restore the Grade II listed St Mary’s footbridge which crosses over the line in Lydney and was originally built to eliminate accidents caused by people scrambling across the tracks.

The 125-year-old structure in the Lydney Conservation Area was closed for safety reasons in 2007 and has since fallen into further disrepair. A public right of way linking the town and the boating lake with Church Road is routed over the footbridge and so the 11-year diversion along a short detour via the bypass will at last be lifted after the bridge’s reinstallation.

The bridge will be restored thanks to funding from the Rural Development Programme for England – Rural Tourism Infrastructure Growth Programme and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The railway’s project manager Jane Kelly said: “The restoration will also enable free, all year round, heritage railway tourism for the benefit, appreciation and enjoyment of the local community, visitors and future generations.”

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