Motorway footbridge reopened following four month closure

Opening of the new Pegwell Brake footbridge over the M5 motorway.

The replacement Pegwell Brake footbridge over the M5 motorway near Patchway was officially opened to the public this morning (Monday 18th February) by pupils from Coniston Primary School.

The new steel pedestrian bridge, located between junctions 16 and 17 of the motorway, was installed last month and officially opened today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local Councillors.

The 57-tonne bridge was installed as part of the M4/M5 Managed Motorway Scheme and replaces an old concrete one, known locally as the Banana Bridge, which was dismantled at the end of last year.

The new bridge is suitable for high-sided vehicles to pass under when the managed motorway is fully operational and the hard shoulder is used as a traffic lane.

Highways Agency senior project manager Paul Unwin said:

“We’re pleased to open the bridge for the local community to use. We would like to thank all road users and pedestrians for their patience in following the diversion routes and making alternative travel arrangements when needed over the last couple of months while the work was carried out to install the new bridge.”

Cllr Chris Mills, Chair of Patchway Town Council wanted to officially mark the opening of the new footbridge and attended today’s ceremony. Cllr. Mills said:

“This footbridge is well used by the people of Patchway as it gives access for local residents, particularly walkers and dog owners to a network of public footpaths in the open countryside to the north of the motorway. We are delighted that it has been replaced and is now open to the public again.”

Once completed, the £88m Managed Motorway Scheme will cut congestion, make journey times more reliable and improve safety through the use of variable mandatory speed limits and by opening the hard shoulder as an extra running lane.

Georgia-May Pullen and Abbi Edwards cut the rtibbon.

Photo: Georgia-May Pullen and Abbi Edwards (both Year 6 pupils at Coniston Primary School) and Cllr Chris Mills (Chair of Patchway Town Council) cut the rtibbon to mark the opening of the new Pegwell Brake footbridge.