Plans to repair historic bridge featured in Netflix series Sex Education
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Plans to secure the future of a historic bridge which was seen in Netflix series Sex Education have been lodged with Monmouthshire council.
The Grade II-listed Tintern Wireworks Bridge, which crosses the River Wye from Monmouthshire into Gloucestershire, is in a poor condition and in need of significant repairs.
Gloucestershire County Council, which jointly owns the bridge with Monmouthshire council but has responsibility for maintenance, has said the bridge will need to be closed to pedestrians and cyclists for around nine months while the work takes place.
An assessment of the bridge’s condition found it does not have the required capacity for pedestrian loading or for the three-tonne vehicle loading requirement due to “severe localised corrosion”, according to planning documents.
Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire councils have identified funding to progress repair works estimated to cost about £1.5 million after agreeing that it is “crucial to strengthen the bridge”.
The work will also provide a safer surface due to a number of incidents involving tripping and falling, according to a planning report.
An option to strengthen the bridge which includes changing the load path and replacing existing timber planks has been outlined in a planning application.
The proposed repairs would protect the bridge’s future and make maintenance easier.
Safety hazards would also be eliminated, with a flat surface introduced for pedestrians.
A planning application says the scheme would see “minimal change” to the appearance of the historic bridge, which opened in 1876 as part of a shift towards rail transport to facilitate trade between market towns.
Works are expected to begin this spring and finish at around Christmas.
The bridge will be closed to all users from when the refurbishment work starts.
Originally the bridge was built to accommodate no more than a locomotive engine and three loaded trucks – and after the Wye Valley railway stopped operating – the track was used as a horse drawn tramway, becoming known as the Old Tramway Bridge.
It is now a popular pedestrian crossing point between England and Wales across the river, linking Offa’s Dyke and the Wye Valley paths, while it was also featured in the filming of the comedy-drama Sex Education.
Monmouthshire council will assess the plans in the coming months.
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