A DISTRICT councillor has called for an inquiry into what can be done to help residents who feel their privacy has been compromised by a new railway footbridge in Stroud.

Network Rail has replaced two pedestrian crossings at Downfield Road and Beards Lane with a new bridge at Central Road, which opened to the public on Wednesday, February 5.

It says the bridge, which will be used by hundreds of pupils from Archway, Marling and Stroud High Schools, will provide safer access.

Network Rail added that the work was part of a drive to improve safety ahead of the upgrade of the Kemble to Swindon line, which will see the speed and frequency of trains increase.

The new bridge has not been well received by some Central Road residents, who say those using the structure will be able to see into back gardens and homes.

Stroud district councillor Debbie Young (Con, Chalford) told the SNJ that although Network Rail has installed privacy screens around the bridge, there are still places where bridge users can see into homes.

At an SDC housing committee meeting on Thursday night, Cllr Young was supported in her motion to investigate what council officers could do to help alleviate the lack of privacy for residents and to try to get some compensation for residents who suffered from a lack of sleep while the bridge was being built.

“Some of these residents were kept up all night while work was being done on the bridge, not to mention the compensation they should be awarded if the value of their properties has decreased as a result of the bridge,” added Cllr Young.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “We are currently working with the council to look into installing one-way window film on the rear windows of properties to further mitigate the concerns raised by the residents.”

Officers will investigate what can be done for residents who feel they have been affected by the bridge.