A new multi-million-pound bridge will be built in Worcester after plans were backed by councillors.

Worcestershire County Council’s planning committee unanimously approved proposals to build a new walking and cycle bridge across the River Severn in Worcester between Gheluvelt Park and the former Kepax landfill site.

A decision was deferred in July over concerns the bridge would not link up well with existing and planned walking and cycling routes.

Council leader Simon Geraghty said building the bridge first would allow for improvements to be made to the city’s walking and cycling routes in the future.

He said the upgrades would “come in time.”

“It’s important that we put the bridge in place,” he told the council’s planning committee at County Hall on Tuesday (September 28).

“We open up those opportunities and the case has been very clearly made that those resources can come and will come once the key bridge is in place.”

He said he understood the concerns about ensuring more walking and cycling links were provided around the bridge but pointed to the success of the city’s Diglis bridge.

Cllr Geraghty said the bridge would give residents in thousands of new homes that are due to be built to the west of Worcester the opportunity to walk and cycle rather than driving to the city centre “from day one.”

Councillors narrowly voted to defer a final decision in July over fears it would not join up properly with walking and cycling routes around the rest of the county creating a “bridge to nowhere.”

After the meeting, Cllr Alan Amos, cabinet member for highways, said: “This bridge is another big step forward in our commitment to improving the county’s walking and cycling infrastructure.

“The bridge will improve connectivity in and around Worcester City for commuters and those in the area for leisure purposes.

“We have already delivered a number of schemes to improve walking and cycling routes including a number of improvements in and around Bromsgrove, the opening of Crookbarrow Way, Hams Way and Broomhall Way footbridges in Worcester as part of the Southern Link Road scheme and the full refurbishment of Sabrina Bridge in the centre of Worcester.”