A new bridge for Barnstaple?

Joseph Bulmer

A new bridge could be on the horizon for the River Taw in the centre of Barnstaple.

Both Devon County and North Devon councils have been looking at the option of a pedestrian and cycle bridge to connect the Strand area to proposed multi million developments at Anchorwood Bank.

It is one of several options that have been drafted into the latest version of the Local Transport Plan adopted by the county council and discussed at its cabinet meeting in December.

“We are looking at a number of potential improvements to improve links between the rail station and the town centre,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation.

“We are currently looking at design options for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Taw north (upstream) of the current Longbridge, probably connecting Anchorwood with the Strand.

“We recognise that currently, this can act as a barrier to cyclists, in particular, despite the reduction in traffic post bypass.”

The bridge would be designed to link with the proposed redevelopment of the Anchorwood Bank site including a proposed footway and cycleway along the river front plus emerging proposals for further housing and employment development to the west of the river in the district Local Development Framework to 2026.

A planning application for this has been submitted to North Devon Council and is expected to be registered shortly. This includes proposals for a 40,000 square foot Asda food store, petrol filling station and up to 450 new homes, a 60-bed hotel, office space, restaurants, cafes, small shops and community facilities.