Press Release from The Friends of Lucy’s Mill Bridge – The Evidence is all there – Key Factors in Making a Decision about Lucy’s Mill Bridge Upgrade
Dear Residents of Stratford – and in particular, our County Councillors and the Officers of WCC,
A month ago the Friends of Lucy’s Mill bridge published a video going through all the work done
(over the past six years) to show that making Lucy’s Mill Bridge a bridge for everyone would be of
real long term benefit – to everyone.
The video shows all the evidence and the facts that the bridge is used and shared by many many
people who cross on foot, together with cyclists who push their bikes across – but that it could
never connect to a cycling route directly into our town.
For many users, such as young families, the bridge is a struggle. For many users, those with any
sort of mobility issues, they can’t use the bridge and can’t easily access the Rec, Stratford’s biggest and best green space.
Thousands saw the video posted to Stratford’s Facebook Forum. A version was posted to YouTube
and that link sent just to the Elected members of our Town, District and County Council – and to
officers of all these parts of our local government. That was some 50 or so people and the video
has been watched over 250 times – so there is a very good chance the evidence has been seen.
The Friends don’t believe that anything has been ‘missed out’ – we’ve had no feedback pointing out any ‘omissions’.
This week has seen the publication of the Riverside consultation. Its a project which may well be
the key to the economic future of our Town, whatever can be done as and when funding can be
added to that already found, funding which isn’t though enough to cover the addition of ramps to
Lucy’s Mill Bridge.
The Riverside project will bring more visitors and opportunities for residents to enjoy the facilities
it will create. Lucy’s Mill Bridge though, is a key part of infrastructure that thousands and
thousands of people already enjoy – they’ve done so for many years and will continue to do so, for
WCC were charged with ownership and management of the bridge when councils were
reorganised in the 70s. They only have certain types of funding they can access and have said that
for the foreseeable future no funding for any work on Lucy’s Mill Bridge can be found, and that a
priority is to create and enhance more opportunities for cycling. If this takes 3, 5, 10 years to happen, then for 3, 5, 10 years tens of thousands of people will struggle or not be able to use a footbridge.
The Friends have made one specific ask. If the bridge were owned (and yes managed) by another
body, one which could well be something shared by us, Stratford residents, as a community, then
other funding opportunities will be available, and soon. This sort of ownership has happened all
over the UK. Its not something new or unique.
So, to our County Councillors and to WCC itself – who could you and who would you give responsibility for
the bridge to? Yes, please give all the detail you would need, or if, and if it is a ‘no’ do give all the
reasons, why could the bridge not become a community owned asset?
Lucy’s Mill Bridge is a footbridge, a bridge that has been there since William Shakespeare walked
our streets. Its a bridge people share. Its a bridge a significant number cannot use. Is this OK or is it
just plain wrong? Let’s do something about it!
The Friends of Lucy’s Mill Bridge – 10th December 2020