Rectory Lane bridge, Bury Council, p Bury Council

The bridge is part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network. Credit: via Bury Council

Radcliffe active travel bridge wins funding 

Transport for Greater Manchester has signed off a £2.5m grant to support the construction of a River Irwell crossing to replace an old footbridge swept away in the 2015 Boxing Day floods. 

The 42-metre steel bridge will link Rectory Lane with Milltown Street, creating a new cycling and walking connection between Radcliffe Metrolink stop, the town centre, and residential areas to the east and south of the town. 

The bridge, part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network, is due to be completed in September 2024 and will be built at a higher level than the one it is replacing to mitigate the risk of high-water levels in future. 

Richard Nickson, programme director of cycling and walking at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “This new piece of infrastructure will enable more people to walk, wheel and cycle in their community and forms part of the Bee Network – our vision to deliver a fully-integrated transport network connecting all modes of travel across Greater Manchester.” 

Cllr Alan Quinn, Bury Council’s cabinet member for the environment, climate change and operations, added: “Every Radcliffe resident will remember the day when the original bridge was practically swept away by Storm Eva. 

“This new bridge will be very welcome, making access across the river much easier, and promoting the benefits of walking and cycling. We can’t wait for it to open.” 

The Rectory Lane bridge was not the only Bury crossing damaged during the 2015 floods. Kay Street Bridge in Summerseat also collapsed during the deluge, which forced 800 people to evacuate their homes. That bridge reopened in 2021. 

Since the 2015 storm, the government and Bury Council have sought to bolster the borough’s flood defences through a £40m programme of works. 

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