Oldham To Tameside Bridge, P.Oldham Council
Aecom has drawn up the preliminary designs for the bridge. Credit: Oldham Council

Oldham to Tameside footbridge could open by 2023 

Dan Whelan

The £5m crossing would traverse the River Medlock, connecting Park Bridge in Ashton-under-Lyne to the southern end of Northern Roots at Snipe Clough. 

A consultation on the Aecom-designed proposal has launched and runs to 13 December. The projected completion date for the bridge is 2023. 

The scheme is aimed at improving walking and cycling access between Oldham and Tameside and cutting car journeys on nearby roads. 

Currently there are around 22,500 daily car trips on the A627 and 16,900 on the B6194. 

The 140-metre bridge would also provide a link to Oldham Council’s 160-acre Northern Roots, billed as the UK’s largest urban farm and country park. 

Initial funding for the design stage was funded through the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Bee Network, a programme that is designed to revolutionise travel across the city region. 

Further funding from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Bee Network fund would be needed to build the bridge. 

From an initial five designs, a preferred option has now been chosen: a steel girder bridge that will weather in time, creating an “industrial look” that is fitting with the area, according to Oldham Council, which is running the consultation. 

Cllr Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council, said: “Oldham Council is committed to providing safer and better transport links for our residents. 

“That’s so people can access employment and training opportunities in other areas, but also so they can get out and enjoy what the borough has to offer.” 

Oldham and Tameside councils are working in conjunction with Transport for Greater Manchester to deliver the scheme. 

Cllr Warren Bray, Tameside Council executive member for transport and connectivity, said: “This project will be great for connectivity between the two boroughs. It will improve walking and cycling infrastructure to make it easier, safer and more attractive to travel on foot or by bike, which are healthier, greener, more sustainable travel options.” 

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Great to see we can spend money on infrastructure when the decisions are made in the North. At this rate it will be quicker to cycle to Leeds from Manchester – via this great new bridge!

By Bradford

What about the walkers with the existing broken down styles and bridges. The only interest seems to be in cyclists who expect everyone to stand aside while they ride past with no slowing down and no bells

By Anonymous

Great to see investment in this area.

By A Cynical

A massive footbridge for both pedestrians and cyclists and someone is complaining that money isn’t being spent on pedestrians alone.

By Anonymous

Where does the footbridge start and finish? The plans say it links Oldham to ashton but would be useful to know this. It’s impossible for people who live in outlying areas of Oldham to get employment benefits from this. Could be nice to have this path for leisure purposes but safety walking alone is a concern so it’s impossible to meet the needs of everyone. Seem a lot of money to spend and pretend it will change employment opportunities. Money should have been spent connnecting the trams to both towns

By Anonymous

If it takes all the idiots with bikes off pedestrian footpaths then great but this is very unlikely to happen

By Ian Melling

Think it would be a massive mistake only green band of land we have left leave it alone spend it on something better waste if money

By Mark

I like how everyone is complaining about cyclists. As a pedestrian. A cyclist. And a motorist I can safely say I use the current route as it’s the national cycling route. Stick to your footpaths. And motorists stick to the roads. Common sense may prevail someday

By Anonymous

Seems a lot of money to waste on a bridge linking Snipe Clough to Park Bridge. How the heck is that going to increase job opportunities in both areas. There are zero industrial areas anywhere near either end of it and a long way from either town centre. Who would walk it to get to their job? No- one. It is purely for walkers and cyclists to enjoy themselves and some company to make money off the Council who are being led by the nose and hud-winked as usual (note golf course at Bullcote Lane which is 21 years behind its completion date). Better spent on hospitals etc.

By Peter

Answering my own question. —-It is the restoration of the Park Bridge Viaduct on the NCN 626 Ashton information from TfGM — This would be advantageous to a walker/cyclist /country lover and enhance access to a much wider area for recreation pursuits.

By Ashton forever