PLANS for a new walking and cycling bridge in Evesham have been submitted by the council.

The new bridge would be built across the River Avon in Evesham according to plans put forward by Worcestershire County Council.

The council said the bridge would provide a “safe, direct and comfortable route” from Pershore Road and across the River Avon towards Evesham Leisure Centre.

The application shows a new route would run from near St Andrew’s Church, in Pershore Road, on the Hampton side of the River Avon, through the existing, but improved, Severn Trent Water access road.

Pedestrians and cyclists would then be able to cross the River Avon and into Evesham town using the new bridge.

The location of the new bridge would be roughly midway between the existing Abbey Bridge and the Hampton ferry crossing.

A statement included with the application said: “The existing pedestrian and cycle connection between Hampton and Evesham requires users to travel along Pershore Road and pass over the Abbey Road bridge which is approximately 650 metres downstream.

“The highly trafficked Pershore Road currently has a low level of active travel users due to the lack of provision of cycling facilities and narrow pedestrian footpaths.

“The objective of the scheme is to provide a safe, direct and comfortable route from Pershore Road to Evesham Town via the new footbridge across the River Avon.

The idea for a new bridge was first put forward as part of housebuilders Bellway's plan to build hundreds of homes in Hampton in 2014 with the developer expected to foot much of the bill.

Delays were caused by years of negotiations between the developer and the county council over paying for the bridge.

The new bridge will link Hampton with Evesham town centre giving people access to schools, employment and transport links.

The council said the bridge would also help tackle congestion problems in Evesham, improve journey times and improve air quality by providing an alternative to driving for short journeys.

The design of the bridge was first revealed by the county council nearly two years ago and a planning application was eventually put forward in March last year, but a decision was delayed when it was found that more bat surveys were needed.