Concerns have been raised that cars may be using a landmark Suffolk rail bridge designed to be used only by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

Reports on social media site Facebook have suggested that vehicles have been using the green bridge at Gun Lane in Trimley St Martin to cross the railway track, even though the structure has not been built to take cars.

Carly Small, clerk of Trimley St Martin Parish Council, said the information had been passed on to Network Rail, which manages rail infrastructure, with advice that the track operator should check on the 'structural integrity of the bridge'.

READ MORE: New bridleway bridge gives safer route across railway to Felixstowe

She said: "We were made aware of it and we have made the relevant authorities aware of it and that is as much as we can do."

The new bridge was opened in September 2019 to mark the end of work to upgrade the track to Britain's busiest container port at Felixstowe.

The crossing was the last major part of a £65m investment to upgrade the branch line; installing nearly a mile of double track between Trimley station and the Gun Lane bridge, upgrading four level crossings and improving signalling and telecoms systems.

READ MORE: Work to start on new bridge over Felixstowe rail line at Trimley

The aim was to increase the capacity of the line by ten trains per day in each direction, allowing more goods to be moved by freight to the port, while the bridleway bridge was designed to provide an alternative safe route across the railway line to access the local countryside.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “The bridleway bridge at Gun Lane is designed solely for the use of pedestrians and horses.

"Anyone seeing vehicles illegally using the bridge should report the matter immediately to the police.”

The equine charity The British Horse Society is concerned about the situation.

READ MORE: Felixstowe news

Mark Weston, director of access at the charity, said: “We believe the route to be a restricted byway.

"Lawful users of restricted byways are walkers, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn carriage drivers.

"Motor vehicles should not be using a restricted byway unless they have the permission of the landowner to do so.

"It is the council’s responsibility to maintain restricted byways to a safe standard, so any issues regarding the maintenance of the restricted byway should be reported to the relevant council.

"We would also encourage any equestrian, cyclist and or walker who believes there is an unauthorised use of a restricted byway by a motor vehicle to report the incident to the police, quoting the plate number of the vehicle.’’

READ MORE: Suffolk news