A redundant railway bridge is being used by St Modwen through Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration, its joint venture with Stoke City Council, to complete a new pedestrian and cycle link to connect the Etruria Valley Business Park area to Festival Park over the Trent and Mersey Canal.
This is the link that has been created between these two major developments – Festival Park and Etruria Valley – which originally were both part of the massive Shelton iron and steelworks site.
St Modwen decided instead of constructing a new bridge to restore the former railway bridge thereby creating a sustainable transport link, whilst re-using an old structure and saving on new materials.
Mike Herbert, North Staffordshire regional director for St Modwen, said:²From the outset of the development of Festival Park in 1988 we have been committed to providing good public transport and pedestrian/cycle links to the site. Three major bus routes now go through the site with up to 12 buses per hour.
³Several pedestrian and cycle routes link the major cycle route along the Trent and Mersey Canal which provides access to many parts of the city.²
The former steelworks straddled the Trent and Mersey Canal and the famed Potteries Loop Line, which connected the main London to Manchester Railway line with the towns of Hanley, Buslem and Tunstall, used to go through the steelworks and over the canal.
The railway was closed to passenger traffic in the 1960s and during the 1970s ceased operating to the steelworks. After the steelworks closed in 1979 the line was removed but the bridge over the canal was never demolished.