PROPOSALS have been mooted for a £1million footbridge to be built over the A12 north of Colchester.

Myland Community Council has decided to ask Colchester Council for £10,000 from its New Homes Bonus for an initial study to see if the bridge can be justified.

If it is successful in its bid, the community council would explore other funding options to get the steel bridge built as soon as possible.

An existing path runs from Braiswick Lane, Mile End and goes through Chesterwell Wood before it meets up with the A12.

Steps even lead up to the side of the busy carriageway before the path continues the other side, joining the Essex Way.

Pete Hewitt, chairman of Myland Community Council, said: “There is a footpath at the moment but you have to walk over the A12 as the A12 cuts the footpath in half.

“There isn’t 106 developer money for a footbridge.

“We would like to explore getting some funding which would enable us to carry out a proper feasibility study into how much a footbridge would cost us.

“We cannot really go for full grant funding until we know.”

Mr Hewitt said he understood the footbridge had been on an Essex County Council list of priorities but the community council had not heard anything more about its commitment to this.

He added: “It would be an advantageous for this end of Mile End. You would be able to safely cross the footpath network.

“If you walk across to the other side there is the Essex Way and that section is part of a European footpath network. If you wanted to follow it you could walk all the way from Galway to Nice. If that bridge exists across the A12 it opens up people to access other footpath networks.”

Mr Hewitt said the estimated cost of the feasibility study was based on market prices for professional fees but the community council would take advice from Colchester Council on it.

Robert Johnstone, chairman of Myland Community Council’s footpaths working group, said the community council might ask the National Lottery for the money for the bridge.

He added that Colchester Council had already put in on a “wish list” of projects for north Colchester.

Developers Mersea Homes and Countryside Properties are set to build 1,600 new homes on fields off Bergholt Road and Nayland Road, Mile End, near Chesterwll Wood, with the first batch built by 2016.

Mr Johnstone added: “It would help the rural community of West Bergholt get access to some of the facilities built in north Colchester and helps people from new homes in north Colchester get access to the countryside.”