A FOOTBRIDGE used by walkers, dog owners and visitors to a nature reserve washed away by floods is to be replaced.

The walkway over Oswaldtwistle’s White Ash Brook was demolished in heavy rainstorms early this year.

Residents have been trying to get the footbridge at the bottom of the path from Burns Avenue providing a shortcut to Foxhill Bank Nature Reserve replaced for months without success.

Now following the intervention of Oswaldtwistle county councillor Peter Britcliffe the new structure is being manufactured and will be installed next month.

Residents contacted him concerned about the loss of the footbridge had turned a short walk to the nature reserve into a two-mile trek through a litter-strewn tunnel under Harvey Street or along Blackburn Road and Union Road.

They told him they had been unable to find out whether Lancashire County Council or Hyndburn Council was responsible for the replacement of the footbridge which has been in place for decades.

Cllr Britcliffe contacted the two authorities to ask for a new one to be put in place.

Now Hyndburn Council has agreed to start work on its replacement.

One Buttermere Drive resident told Cllr Britcliffe: “The footbridge at the bottom of Burns Avenue was washed away by floods early this year. It leads to Foxhill Bank Nature Reserve.

“There has been, since February this year, no sign of repairs..

“I realise it has been very difficult for everyone and this footbridge repair would not be considered urgent.

“The difficulty, when we take an alternative routes to walk our dogs, is that the tunnel under Harvey Street is littered with glass. I have spoken to several other residents also unhappy about the lack of a footbridge.”

Cllr Britcliffe said “This footbridge is an important link to our nature reserve making the difference of a short walk or a walk of two miles.

“It is much used by those taking exercise or walking their dogs.

“It has taken far too long to sort this out but there have been mitigating circumstances with the coronavirus outbreak.”

A Hyndburn Council spokeswoman said: “The new bridge has been designed. It’s now being fabricated and will be installed in late August this year.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “The footpath is not a recognised public right of way, and the land does not belong to the council.”