Kingsweston Iron Bridge to be repaired eight years after it was closed by lorry crash

The closure of the 200-year-old bridge sparked anger from residents. Credit: Janet-Marie Poole

A £1.1million project to repair a historic Bristol bridge which has been closed for eight years is finally set to begin next month.

Kingsweston Iron Bridge, in Sea Mills, was first built in the 1800s and links Kingsweston and Blaise Castle Estate.

It was hit by a lorry in 2015 and, despite fierce campaigning for it to be repaired, has been closed ever since.

Bristol City Council says a debate around how the bridge could be made accessible was responsible for the delays.

A £1.1million project will now see the 200-year-old bridge removed and repaired before being reinstalled at a raised height to avoid it being hit by another lorry.

Work to dismantle the bridge so it can be repaired off-site is due to begin on 27 November. The stone structures to the side of the bridge will then have their height increased at the start of 2024 before the bridge is craned back into place.

Grandmother Janet-Marie Poole, who lives in Coombe Dingle, said the iron bridge's closure creates a "serious safety" issue as people have to "dash" across the road to avoid traffic.

"People come flying around that bend," she said.

"You can walk from Shirehampton to Westbury-on-Trym without going onto a road when the bridge is open.

“I used to use the bridge every day to get to work to avoid coming into contact with traffic, it’s a great natural corridor and has been used for hundreds of years by walkers and travellers.

Work is expected to be completed on the bridge in 2024. Credit: Janet-Marie Poole

”But none of my grandchildren have had a chance to cross the bridge."

Bristol City Council's cabinet member for transport Donald Alexander said: "I'm obviously delighted that work is now underway as the bridge provides a much-valued link for walkers between Kingsweston and Blaise parks.

"Obtaining planning permission has taken a number of years due to an important debate about the accessibility of the newly raised bridge and the harm to heritage assets that would be caused by proposed ramps.

"This has now been concluded in favour of using steps which, I accept, will be a disappointment to many people."