York’s new Scarborough Bridge will open to the public on Thursday 18 April, with work on the £4.4m scheme continuing on site for several more weeks.
The new accessible 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).
It is aimed at boosting access for people travelling by bike or on foot between the train and the city centre.
Although the bridge will be open to the public from 3pm on Thursday, work will continue to complete the new steps to the riverside paths and sections of the ramps.
The river crossing will remain open to the public throughout these works, but with some minor width restrictions at times, as well as temporary lighting and a temporary handrail.
Improvement works include, on the southern side, a new path on the top of the embankment, which 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 now be accessible even when the River Ouse is in flood.
The £4.4m project has been funded by a £1.9m grant through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, a £1.5m Local Growth Fund secured by YNYER EP and £1m of City of York Council funds.
A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesperson said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with City of York Council and YNYER EP on this important scheme to improve access between the train station and city centre, benefitting residents, commuters and tourists travelling by bike or on foot and, importantly, people with mobility issues.”
Assistant director for highways, transport and the environment at City of York Council, James Gilchrist, said: “I’d like to thank local residents and users of the bridge for bearing with us during these works. The new bridge is substantially wider and we’ve brought it up to date making it accessible for all. We’ve done this whilst giving a nod to York’s Viking heritage with the bridge’s ‘ribs’ in the style of a Viking longship. This complements the adjacent railway bridge, which is constructed of the same ‘weathering steel’ which gives it its distinct colour. I’d also like to thank everyone involved with the construction of the bridge for their work over the past months.”
David Kerfoot MBDL, Chair of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said: “It's really exciting when projects such Scarborough Bridge come to life and start to serve their purpose for the public. This bridge is at the heart of York's aspirations for accessible and sustainable transport for residents, commuters and visitors alike. We hope it will continue to play a role as a footprint for these principles throughout the whole York Central development.”
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 and this number is expected to rise considerably one the scheme has been completed.
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.
The new bridge is constructed of weathering steel – the same as Gateshead’s famour statue, The Angel of the North.
The reopening of the bridge has been delayed by a month due to the need for extra piling works in the railway embankments as well as dense fog during one of the weekends a section of the new bridge was due to be lifted in.
For more information about the Scarborough Bridge scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/scarboroughbridge