The new crossing would link Sharpness and Lydney, which were once connected by a rail bridge that was lost through a series of barge accidents during the early 1960s and never rebuilt.
The new crossing would be designed to be multi-purpose, to provide for multiple transport methods, and potentially provide a leisure facility with walking and cycling trails into regional parks. Connection to the M5 motorway would also be logical, transforming the quality of road access to the Forest of Dean, says the proposal.
The proposal has been put forward as one ‘six big ideas’ in Gloucestershire 2050, a county-wide initiative to explore a range of ideas and shape the future of the county. The others relate to creation of a 'super city' connecting Cheltenham and Gloucester, designation of regional parks and the development of a Cotswold airport, Cotswold waterpark and a national cyber security park.
Gloucestershire 2050 said that plans to re-establish a crossing between Lydney and Sharpness have become relevant with the economic decline of the Forest of Dean and a large-scale regeneration projects at Berkeley. A new crossing would provide a vital connection between districts, and access to the forest; thereby addressing employment and economic regeneration, education and skills development, housing need and the retention of young people, it said.