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Local heroes in the running for Telford bridge name honour

By Mat Growcott | Telford | Transport | Published:

Heroes including Captain Webb and footballer Billy Wright are among the names being suggested for Telford’s new £10 million footbridge.

The new footbridge

Members of the public will be able to vote on their favourite from a shortlist of some of the area’s best and brightest, with the winning selection going on to be the bridge’s permanent name.

More than 200 school pupils from across the borough chose the people they felt should be commemorated.

The shortlist includes names such as Captain Webb, the first recorded person to swim the English Channel who was born in Dawley and Katherine Harley, president of the Shropshire branch of suffragists.

Others include Sir Gordon Richards’ Crossing (Jockey Bridge) considered the world’s greatest ever jockey from Donnington Wood, and Wolves legend Billy Wright, the first footballer in the world to earn 100 international caps, born at Belmont Road in Ironbridge.

Finally, the Silver Swallow also made the shortlist for a pupil’s reference to the bridge’s design and colour.

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “There was so much public pride shown for the borough and the footbridge during its construction and we wanted to carry this right through to the very end of the project with the official opening and naming.

Honour

“There are so many iconic figures from the area it only seemed right to honour some of these along with the imaginative names from school pupils and let the public decide.

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“There are six weeks to cast your vote so if you want to have a say then make sure you get your vote registered and let friends and family know to do the same.”

Children got involved in the project as part of the Big Bridge challenge, hoping to encourage youngsters to learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The new footbridge, funded by a Department of Transport grant that the Council bid for and won, opened to pedestrians in November 2018 and in time for Telford’s 50th birthday celebrations. It has also won three awards at West Midlands’ Institution of Civil Engineers Awards in May 2019.

Visit telford.gov.uk/footbridgevote to cast a vote. Voting closes on August 30.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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