Historic bridge repair plans featured in Netflix series Sex Education

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Tintern Bridge over the River Wye, UK as seen in Sex Education

Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy journalist

Plans to secure the future of a historic bridge which was seen in the Netflix series Sex Education have been lodged with Monmouthshire Council.

The Grade II listed Tintern Wireworks Bridge, which crosses the River Wye from Monmouthshire to Gloucestershire, is in poor condition and in need of major repairs.

Gloucestershire County Council, which jointly owns the bridge with Monmouthshire Council but is responsible for maintenance, said the bridge will need to be closed to pedestrians and cyclists for around nine months while work takes place.

An assessment of the condition of the bridge revealed that it did not have the capacity required for loading pedestrians or for loading three-tonne vehicles due to ‘severe localized corrosion’, according to planning documents .

Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire councils have identified funding to advance repair work estimated at around £1.5million after agreeing it was ‘crucial to strengthen the bridge’.

The works will also provide a safer surface due to a number of incidents involving trips and falls, according to a planning report.

Photo by Mzilikazi1939 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

An option to strengthen the bridge, which includes modifying the load path and replacing the existing wooden planks, has been outlined in a planning application.

The proposed repairs would protect the future of the bridge and facilitate its maintenance.

Safety hazards would also be eliminated, with a flat surface introduced for pedestrians.

A development application says the project would bring “minimal change” to the appearance of the historic bridge, which opened in 1876 as part of a transition to rail transport to facilitate trade between market towns.

Work should begin this spring and be completed around Christmas.

The bridge will be closed to all users from the start of the repair work.

Originally the bridge was built to hold just one locomotive engine and three laden lorries – and after the Wye Valley Railway came to a halt – the track was used as a horse-drawn tram, 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 Wye Valley trails, while it has also been featured in the filming of the comedy-drama Sex Education.

Monmouthshire Council will assess the plans in the coming months.


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