Going with the FLOW at Wistanstow

Network Rail’s award-winning FLOW footbridge is being deployed in Shropshire. Project Manager ANDY CROSS conceived the design and reveals its potential to ANDY RODEN

If you happen to be walking Wistanstow, near Craven Arms in Shropshire, you may well come across a bold new structure designed to carry people safely over a busy part of the Newport-Shrewsbury ‘North and West’ route. It opened to the public on 17 January.

With a line speed of 90mph plus a goods loop, the pedestrian level crossing was long on the radar of Network Rail Project Manager Andy Cross to replace with a footbridge. However, conventional steel footbridges are expensive and time-consuming to install and often jar with local surroundings.

Mr Cross explains how a radical new design of footbridge was conceived: ‘There is a desire to eliminate many foot crossings because while signalling systems and indicators might help mitigate risks to pedestrians, they don’t eliminate them.

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