Scarborough Bridge, York, to close to make way for new improved version
22 January 2019
Scarborough Bridge is set to close from Saturday (26 January) while the existing bridge is removed and a new improved bridge, which is due to open in March, is put in place.
The new bridge for people travelling by bike or on foot between the railway station and city centre is being delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60 million CityConnect programme, which is aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk, in partnership with City of York Council and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.
The existing footbridge is well used with more than 3,000 people crossing it daily, despite access issues limiting people who can use it.
The new bridge is scheduled to be complete and open to the public in March 2019 and will address access issues with ramps and 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 project has been part-funded by a £1.9m grant from the Combined Authority through its CityConnect programme.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working with City of York Council and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership on this important project, which will provide much-needed access improvements between the train station and city centre.
“We know encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individual’s money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.”
“Scarborough Bridge is a good example of how the Combined Authority, through its £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk, is working in partnership to improve infrastructure across our region.”
Executive member for transport and planning, Cllr Peter Dew, said: “Work on Scarborough Bridge is progressing well and we are nearly ready to remove the old footway and replace it with the new, wider and accessible cycleway and footpath.”
“This will, of course, mean some short term disruption for people who currently use the bridge and also to nearby residents. I’d like to once again reassure people that we are doing all we can to minimise disruption during this process.
“When the new bridge is complete I have no doubt that it will be worth the wait and quickly become an iconic new feature of the city centre.”
Executive member for economic development and community engagement, Cllr Keith Aspden, said: “The Scarborough Bridge pedestrian and cycle crossing has been long overdue for a full replacement. After speaking with residents, businesses and key partners to draw up a design over the past years it’s exciting that the new bridge will shortly be in place ready for the thousands of people who use this crossing everyday.”
David Kerfoot, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said: “The works at Scarborough Bridge will present a short-term challenge but in the long term there is much to gain.
“The new bridge is set to be the first step towards an ambitious vision of accessibility and connectivity for York. Benefits of builds like these are as much for local people going about their everyday lives, as they are for economic growth. By joining the railway station and York central, Scarborough Bridge links York Central with regional and international businesses, which in turn provides York’s residents with fantastic employment opportunities.”
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 current footbridge was installed and has remained largely unchanged for the last 144 years.
The existing footbridge is very narrow at 1.3 metres wide and is not readily accessible with steep steps on both sides of the river. This will be removed entirely and a new replacement 65 metre long shared-use pedestrian and cycle bridge constructed. This will be almost three times as wide, at 3.7 metres.
Another advantage of the new bridge is that it will be accessible even when the river is in flood. It will also be well lit and covered by CCTV so that users will feel safe to use it 24/7.
The cost of the new bridge is £4 million. Most of this has been funded externally from central government grants which the council has bid for over the past three years in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.