A Bridge Leading Everywhere

Leading Everywhere – How Lucy’s Mill Bridge connects people and places

The Greenway becomes ever more popular, especially in the winter, when the riverside paths are muddy. It’s a place where residents and visitors of any age – and family groups – can walk or ride in safety, for as far as they want. The two walks either side of the river take people on a roughly two mile excursion out into some beautiful countryside, a loop that joins the Greenway by the end of the Racecourse.

Just as the Rec has some casual and well paved shorter walks, crossing the river takes people who want to go a bit further just that, the opportunity to be out and about for an hour or more.

Without Lucy’s Mill Bridge river crossing, people would have to find their way along the sides of the Severn Meadows Road. It’s not the quietest road at times and at peak hours, it’s a major through and arterial road for our Town.

Stratford (as a town) has a ‘centre’ – the shops, banks and services on Bridge and High Street and all the roads adjoining them. However, three of our major Tourists attractions lie to the west. Firstly there is New Place/The Guild Chapel and Shakespeare’s School. Then, in ‘Old Town’ is Hall’s Croft and just a bit further on is Holy Trinity, where Shakespeare is buried.

Along this route are several restaurants, there is a dental practice and a Doctors’ surgery. Most notable is the District Council Offices where residents can access lots of services and support.

Looking south of the River, anyone from the West of the Town wanting to walk (or ride a bike) to the Rec, or to Stratford Sports Club, their easiest route (avoiding traffic) is via Lucy’s Mill Bridge. The same is true for young people who go to school in Shottery or at Stratford School, who don’t want to cross the main river bridges and then turn back on themselves to reach Bridgetown and Trinity Mead Estates.

The Rosebird Centre already is a ‘destination’ retail centre with people travelling by car from across Stratford, and from the surrounding villages and towns, to use the present shops and services. People can take a bus. They can also walk there from Bridgetown, Trinity Mead, from along the Banbury and Shipston Roads, and from the south of the river. If you’re thinking that a large grocery shop is going to be difficult to carry back to say the Evesham Road, just as people living south of the river travel by car to the supermarkets on the Alcester and Birmingham Roads, then you’re right.

But if you think the way we all shop has stopped changing – click and collect, shopping delivery, ‘experience’ retail – you need to think again. Yes people will go in a car to bring home lots of shopping (like food etc.), but we will all be encouraged to be more active and ‘top-up’ shopping won’t just be more food so more people will walk to the Rosebird. For those who use a mobility aid, crossing at Lucy’s Mill will be a must. Then again, they already should be able to ..!

With the imminent arrival of narrow boats with a mooring at the new marina (and there will be spaces for 250 boats to do so), for several times a year it will be a big community of people who will want to go into Stratford; to explore, for entertainment, to shop.