AN ICONIC wooden bridge which crosses Swansea’s River Tawe will be restored as part of a major transport improvement scheme in the city.
Swansea Council has been awarded £2.7 million from the Welsh Government annual transport grant settlement and will be ploughing the funding into a wide range of projects aimed at improving transport and road safety in the city.
Of the settlement £200,000 has been allocated towards restoring the grade II listed Bascule Bridge, located in Morfa area.
The unique wooden bridge, which dates back to the early 1900s, is in danger of collapse if not repaired. The bridge is currently out of use.
Situated in the shadows of the Liberty Stadium, the bridge is one of the few surviving relics of the area’s rich copper heritage. It had a water-powered lever system enabling a section of the bridge to be lifted to allow sailing ships to pass through.
Once restored, the bridge will be brought back into use as a cycleway and footpath, creating an important link on the National Cycle Network 43 and for local match-day connections to the Liberty Stadium.
A spokesman for Swansea Community Boat Trust, which runs trips from the marina up the River Tawe, welcomed the news as hitherto its barge was not allowed to pass the bridge due to safety reasons.
He said: “It would be very good news for us as we could then go at least as far as the Liberty Stadium and it would be great to get closer to the bridge itself as its an important piece of our heritage.”
Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environment and transportation, said it would be used for pedestrians and cyclists.”It’s expected that major cities throughout Europe can provide sufficient cycle path infrastructure to make cycling a viable mode of transport as well as an enjoyable pastime.”