PLANS to build a cycle and pedestrian bridge across the River Wye in Monmouth will make a "huge difference" to the town. 

The new crossing, which will run parallel to the Grade-II listed Wye Bridge and link with Old Dixton Road to Monmouth Leisure Centre, aims to provide a safe and easy active travel route.

A key phase of the project now involves drawing up a detailed design of the bridge.

Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) is seeking funding to complete the design work and gain planning permission this financial year, with a view to construction in 2023/24.

Due to its narrow width and popularity as a convenient shortcut for lorries coming to and from the Forest of Dean, there have been long-standing concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists using the existing Wye Bridge.

HGVs struggle to manoeuvre around the bends in the road and need to enter the opposite carriageway or straddle the pavement.

Monmouth MP David Davies said he had been contacted by residents reporting numerous incidents of “close shaves” where pedestrians have nearly been hit by wing mirrors and vehicles mounting the pavement.

“The Wye Bridge unfortunately presents a major obstacle to physically active travel – like walking or cycling – between Wyesham and Monmouth town centre," he said.

"This is why this new footbridge will make such a difference to those living in the area.

“I eagerly await the detailed design.”

Monmouth Town councillor Jane Lucas, who has been involved with the project from the beginning, praised “passionate and professional” people for coming together and bringing the finish line in sight.

“The whole ethos of the idea is for safe travelling across the River Wye for all, whilst celebrating the beautiful river itself,” she said.

“It will enable people to get away from the dangers of fumes and walking so close to the road traffic, while connecting communities on both sides.

"I’m immensely proud of having had a very small part in such a large project, which will undoubtedly make a huge difference to Monmouth.”

Robert Hatton, prospective County Councillor for Wyesham, said: “The proposed active travel footbridge will give a safe alternative to the existing Wye Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Abbie Katsande, prospective County Councillor for Monmouth Town, said: “I am completely committed to this project, which will make it possible for us all to make short journeys – such as the commute to work, school or local shops – by physically active means.”