Safer river crossing

The town council is looking at ways to improve safety for people crossing the river in the town centre — whether by the existing town bridge or via a new pedestrian bridge.

This project will also involve engaging with residents.

What’s happening now?

Sustrans and the town council are launching a consultation on the Safer Bradford on Avon Crossing, aiming to create a safe walking link across the river.

Join us in person on Thursday 7 December at the Town Market from 8am to 1pm or St Margaret’s Hall from 5pm to 7pm.

You will also be able to participate online via the Sustrans survey. We also have paper copies available in our Kingston Road office.

What has happened so far?

In 2021, the town council asked people for their views on travel and transport in and around Bradford on Avon.

Over 2,000 people completed the questionnaire. And over 600 people added comments to the interactive map used as part of the consultation.

The future of transport report, identified 3 key priorities for the town:

  • reducing traffic volume
  • improving pedestrian and cyclist safety
  • improving air quality.

This report has led to us working with Wiltshire Council on traffic modelling with a view to delivering road and infrastructure changes in the town that will meet these priorities.

Another key take away was that almost 70% of people said a new pedestrian river crossing as something which would encourage them to walk or cycle.

Consequently, at the Sustainable Travel committee meeting on Tuesday 25 July, councillors voted to appoint Sustrans to write a strategic outline case for the safer river crossing project.

This is because a new river crossing – or a crossing that modifies and uses the existing bridge — could contribute to all 3 of these priorities — and could complement the project or projects that are identified by the traffic modelling.

Strategic outline case

The strategic outline case will consider the benefits of and the feasibility of a new river crossing or modifications to the existing bridge — and will look at the different options, including different locations.

Each of the different options will be assessed against a set of criteria, which will include an assessment of the costs (and therefore the affordability) of each option.

The process will follow a recognised method — often called the Five Case Model — assessing the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management cases of the project.

By doing this, the consultant we’re working with will:

  • provide us with a shortlist of feasible options for this project
  • recommended a single preferred option (or 2 preferred options, in the event of a tied score or close scores)
  • provide us with information, including technical information, so we can apply for funding for the project
  • recommend and explain the next steps for the project.

Why is this necessary?

It’s highly likely that we will need to apply for funding — potentially from central government — to complete this project.

A strategic outline case is recognised by the government as the first stage in building a business case for a transport and infrastructure project like this. And as such, it will be an essential step for us to complete before applying for the funding that we would need to build a new crossing or adapt the existing bridge.

More information

There’s detailed guidance for transport businesses cases on the website that provides more information about this.