Old footbridge on York’s Scarborough Bridge set to be removed by rail crane this weekend
The old footbridge on Scarborough Bridge, York is set to be removed by rail crane overnight this Saturday (9 February) to make way for a new and improved bridge, as part of a £4 million upgrade.
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.
As part of this weekend’s works, Wigginton Road will be closed Saturday night / Sunday early morning at the rail level crossing.
The old footbridge was well used with more than 3,000 people crossing it daily, despite access issues.
The new 65-metre long bridge will be more than three times as wide at 3.7metres and is due to be lifted into place by crane from the railway track in two separate phases on two further overnight lifts during the coming weeks.
The new bridge is scheduled to be complete and open to the public next month (March) and will offer 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 users 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 through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot.
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.”
Executive member for transport and planning, Cllr Peter Dew, said: “We’ve made fantastic progress to replace the Scarborough Bridge footbridge. This will open up this area to many more people thanks to the easy accessibility of the new bridge.
“Unfortunately there will be some disruption whilst the old bridge is removed and the new one is craned in. This has to be done at night when there are no trains running.
“I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding, and reassure them that we are working to keep this disruption to a minimum.”
Executive member for economic development and community engagement, Cllr Keith Aspden, said: “There has long been calls to replace the Scarborough Bridge pedestrian and cycle crossing. I’m pleased that after speaking with residents, businesses and key partners to draw up a design that in the coming weeks we will see the new bridge in place for thousands of people to use every day.”
David Kerfoot, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership says: “This bridge marks an exciting time for York’s residents and business community alike and it’s satisfying to see such rapid progress being made. We are hopeful that disruption to residents will be minimal and will be offset by the significant benefits that the new bridge will bring to all.”
The new bridge will be accessible even when the river is in flood. It will also be well lit and covered by CCTV.
The cost of the new bridge is £4 million. Most of this has been funded externally from central government grants, including Local Growth Funding, 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.
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.