First walk across new Scarborough Bridge, York ahead of next month’s opening following £4.4m upgrade
The new bridge is the first over the River Ouse in York city centre for 138 years
Unfortunately it does little for cyclists travelling from, and to, the Leeman Road area who still face an unpleasant journey through the black tunnel of Marble Arch (which lacks a waterproof membrane). It remains a major obstacle to the development of the York Central site.
The first steps across the new Scarborough Bridge, York, were taken during a site visit today (Tuesday 19 March) to see how the £4.4m scheme to boost access for people travelling by bike or on foot between the train station and the city centre is progressing.
The new bridge has been delivered in partnership by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through its £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk, City of York Council, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER EP). The bridge is due to open to the public next month (April).
Scarborough Bridge has been closed to the public since the end of January to allow for ongoing construction works, including the old footbridge being lifted out by rail crane to make way for the new, wider and more accessible shared use bridge.
More than 3,000 people crossed the old footbridge daily, despite access issues.
At 65-metres long the new bridge is three times as wide at 3.7metres, increasing access to more people. It had to be lifted into place in four separate parts due to its size.
Improvement works also include step-free access with ramps as well as new external steps leading to the riverside paths.
On the southern side a new path on the top of the embankment will mean people can travel directly between York Station and the new bridge, providing a traffic free scenic route to the city centre. The new bridge will be accessible even when in flood.
The original bridge was designed and built by Robert Stephenson in 1845. This first iteration saw the walkway placed between the railway tracks and was accessed by internal steps.
When York Station was moved in 1873-5 the bridge was updated to make it suitable. This is when the old footbridge was installed and, until recently, had remained largely unchanged for the last 144 years.
For more information about the Scarborough Bridge scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/scarboroughbridge