Visitors travelling on foot, by train or by car at the Eastern Gateway area of Kidderminster will see a smart newly painted bridge as they arrive in town.
Comberton Hill Bridge has been stripped of the painted mural which has been in situ since the 1990s and has been repainted with a smart black and silver finish to match the street furniture in the town centre.
The cost of the work, amounting to just over £2,000, has been met by contributions from Cllr Tracey Onslow from her 2015 District Council Community Leadership Fund, Cllr Fran Oborski from her 2016 County Council County Divisional Fund and Economic Regeneration Funding from Wyre Forest District Council.
Cllr Tracey Onslow, Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration said
“Although I liked the old design, it was looking pretty worn and so I began a campaign to get something done about this bridge. Initially, Mark Garnier MP and I approached Network Rail who own the bridge to see when they planned to repaint it as it was looking pretty unloved but it was not scheduled into their work programme until 2019, so we decided to look for another way of getting the job done. I used some of my own funding and very kindly Cllr Fran Oborski agreed to contribute some money out of her funding, with the final amount coming from Wyre Forest Economic Regeneration.
“Local residents kindly volunteered to get involved with painting the bridge, but in the end, the work had to be done by professionals to satisfy Network Rail’s health and safety requirements where people are working on or near a railway bridge.
“Further issues arose requiring a Lead Report to be done which showed that there was lead in the original paint. This meant that the paint could not be removed by sandblasting and so had to be stripped by hand, a painstaking job that took around five days. The contract to strip back the paint, make repairs, and apply a top coat was awarded to Wyre Forest District Council following a competitive tender. The contract also covers ongoing and maintenance for the next three years.”
Cllr Fran Oborski said
“The bridge looks much smarter following its makeover and we are considering adding some graphics aspects to make it unique to Kidderminster. We trust that the newly painted bridge will give visitors a good impression as they arrive into town via Comberton Hill – an area that is currently being looked at in development terms by the Council.”
Before - the bridge makeover. Picture shows Cllr Tracey Onslow, Ashley Reynolds, Nick Reynolds, Cllr Fran Oborski and Wyre Forest MP, Mark Garnier.
After - the bridge makeover