Trafford Council has unveiled plans to build a new bridge and improve cycling routes between Urmston and Sale Water Park.

More than £2.6 million will be used to fund a swathe of work on land next to the M60 motorway in the Mersey Valley.

The scheme, which has been funded by Highways England, will provide safe and accessible routes linking to the wider network, town hall bosses say.

A consultation has already been carried out on the proposals, which involve upgrading several areas within the borough:

* Access to Dane Road

* Sale Water Park, including a new bridge next to the grade II listed Jackson’s Boat Bridge

* The Bridgewater Canal

* An area close to the Carrington Spur

* Stretford Road and the bridge over the M60 motorway

* The Sale to Chorlton route

Currently, the Grade II listed Jackson’s Boat Bridge, which crosses the boundary from Sale in Trafford to Chorlton in Manchester, does not meet industry standards.

Built in 1881, the bridge is a ‘much-loved’ local landmark, which had been earmarked to be demolished.

More than a year ago, the council assessed the structure and concluded that it couldn’t be adapted to provide disabled access or support a new cycle network.

However, the bridge, which has just been listed as grade II, will now remain and a new one mimicking Jackson’s Boat will be built alongside it.

Additional information on where improvements will take place

The scheme will improve predominantly off-road routes running parallel and on either side of the M60 at junctions six to eight.

A route which passes over the M60 at Sale Water Park, under the M60 next to the Altrincham to Manchester Metrolink line, and either side of the bridge at Stretford Meadows, will be upgraded.

There will also be improvements to several routes on part of the Trans Pennine Trail, which is part of National Cycle Network.

The project will also make changes near Ivy Green Woods and nature reserve and along the River Mersey near Sale Water Park.

Improvements will also be made to a stretch of pathway running from Mersey Valley Visitor’s Centre (next to the motorway) to the new bridge next to Jackson’s Boat Bridge.

A better route with a new approach to both bridges will replace the current pathway, which has an ‘extremely steep slope onto Rifle Road adjacent to a car park and a public house’ , a council report said.

Another cycle route through Turn Moss playing fields will be ‘considered and progressed’ if there are enough funds available.

Trafford council bosses are due to approve the scheme during today’s executive meeting.