A £50m LOTTO election victory has given Northwich a fantastic Christmas gift.
The result means a new Riversdale Footbridge over the River Weaver will be built after charity Sustrans won the TV contest for the cash.
Replacing the swingbridge which links Leftwich with Castle is part of the Connect2 scheme to create new foot and cycle paths at 79 different locations throughout the country.
Northwich town councillor Tony Vickers, who has campaigned for a new bridge for three years, said: “I still believe it is a public right of way and British Waterways (BW) ought to have replaced it, but that doesn’t matter now – the point is a new bridge is going to be built and that’s marvellous news.”
About 1,000 people a day, including scores of children en route to various schools, used the bridge before BW closed it for safety reasons.
Sustrans is determined the new bridge will be an iconic structure.
It is likely to cost more than £500,000, whereas BW’s scheme announced a year before they closed the bridge, was less than half that.
Sustrans chief executive John Grimshaw said: “To say I am delighted is such an understatement – this is fantastic news for Sustrans and for 79 communities and our partners and local authorities across the UK.
The Connect2 project will take several years to comlpete and it will be two years before the Riversdale Bridge is open.
Residents at either side of the bridge in The Crescent and Robert Street have seen a huge drop in rowdyism and vandalism since the bridge closed and want guarantees its reopening will not mean renewal of the problems.