Oldham Council has submitted a planning application to build an eye-catching £5m bridge that would make travelling between Ashton and the borough easier for cyclists and pedestrians.
The proposed 140m long structure would run across the Medlock Valley in Park Bridge – along the old viaduct route on the Oldham/Ashton boundary.
The council would look to secure funding for the bridge’s construction from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund for Active Travel.
If everything goes to plan the bridge – more than 30m above the ground at its highest point – could open within the next couple of years, said the council.
It has been designed to take into account all users and offer levels of safety, comfort and picturesque views of the valley.
The structure would provide a spectacular new southern access point to the Northern Roots site – the UKs’ largest urban farm and country park – and better connect Oldham with the rest of Greater Manchester.
The proposed bridge’s design was chosen following a consultation carried out last year. It is a steel girder structure that would weather in time for an industrial look that fits with the area’s heritage.
The completed project would also include landscaping work in keeping with the area.
It is estimated the scheme would also cut the number of daily car journeys on nearby roads. Currently there are some 22,500 daily car trips on the A627 and 16,900 on the B6194.
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Oldham Council is working to provide safer and better transport links for our residents.
“We want to make it easier for people to access employment and training opportunities in other areas, while also getting out and enjoying what the borough has to offer.
“We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation exercise and your views have helped get us to the planning stage.”
A programme, the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Bee Network, has been designed to revolutionise travel across the city-region by encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and use specifically designed safer routes.
Oldham Council staff have been working with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Tameside Council on the bridge proposal.
The application will be decided at a future meeting of the planning committee.