AN EXTRA £7 million to build three footbridges over the Southern Link Road has been approved by cabinet.

The bridges will be built between the Ketch and Whittington roundabouts, with a Broomhall Way bridge to the west of the Norton roundabout and a Crookbarrow Way bridge to the west of the new Battenhall railway bridge.

A new bridge to link the two halves of Upper Battenhall farm will also be built as part of the latest phase of the A4440 development. The council is currently paying compensation to the owner of the land for the disruption caused during the development and demolition of the old farm bridge.

Money to pay for the Crookbarrow Way and farm bridges was allocated by the council in September 2014 as part of the project to the dual the Southern Link Road but the council says it now needs more money.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said the bridges needed to be built as quickly as possible.

He said: “We intend the time scale [to build] to be something like 18 months. Clearly that can be in advance of the substantial number of houses being built and made available.

“On the other hand, we want to get [the bridges] done because of all of the disruption it has caused and the need to make provisions for those who need to move around.”

Cllr Pollock said Crookbarrow Way bridge would be an “important link” for cyclists between the city and the new Worcestershire Parkway railway station.

The money for the Broomhall Way bridge will be brought forward to pay for its construction but the county council will be reimbursed by developers.

Seven Capital, St Modwen and Welbeck have agreed to pay for the bridge so future housing developments to the south are not cut off from the city.

The council expects £500,000 to be paid by the developers by mid-2020 with the full £3.5 million handed over by 2022.

Cllr Steve Mackay, who represents St Peter’s, welcomed the building of the three bridges but had some concerns over where they would be placed.

He said building the footbridges in the wrong location could lead to some people thinking the bridge was “irrelevant” and attempting to walk across the busy road.