A new sustainable footbridge restoring the pedestrian route around Keynsham Memorial Park has opened to the public.

The bridge has been installed by Bath & North East Somerset Council and is part of a range of improvements planned for the park over the next two years.

The new bridge structure is made of a polymer plastic resin, that is resilient to damp environments and will provide longevity. The balustrade and handrail are marine-grade polished steel and the infill panels are steel with a protective rust patina. This makes the bridge highly sustainable, reducing future maintenance costs significantly.

The footways approaching the bridge have been newly tarmacked and the existing bandstand ramp cleaned, with new planting around the bridge also carried out.

The original footbridge was permanently closed to the public in October 2019 due to deterioration of its timber beams rendering it unsafe.

Councillor Sarah Moore, council chair who cut the ribbon, said: “It was a great pleasure to open this new, long-awaited footbridge, which we know has been welcomed by residents and visitors.”

Councillor Hal MacFie, Chair of Keynsham Town Council, said: “Thank you to Keynsham Town Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council for their work to get a new bridge in the park. Now people can once more enjoy their circular walks around the Memorial Park and families can access both the play areas without leaving the park. We can once again walk into town without touching the Bath Road and enjoy views of the River Chew on the way.”

The further improvements to the park will include addressing flooding under Echo Bridge, as well as exploring the possibility of an indoor or covered café space and better play facilities during 2023 and 2024. This follows a public survey carried out by Bath & North East Somerset Council in spring 2022 which showed the top five reasons for using the park were enjoying nature, exercise, a place to meet others, children’s play and to have lunch or a picnic. The survey report can be viewed here.

Find out more about Keynsham Memorial Park here.