Proposed funding boost for York’s Scarborough Bridge
A proposal for a £300,000 scheme to boost access for people travelling by bike, on foot or using mobility aids between York’s Scarborough Bridge, the railway station and the city centre will go before members of the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee for approval on Thursday (9 January).
Last year the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through its CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike and on foot, and City of York Council were awarded funding from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund for this scheme.
The proposals include: improvements to the crossing of the A19 Bootham, linking into the cycle route through to York Hospital; improved approaches to the new bridge from the riverside and adjoining routes; and replacing the steps from St Mary’s to Marygate Lane with a ramp.
These further improvements will build on the new, wider and more accessible £4.4m Scarborough Bridge, which reopened to the public last April.
An average of more than 4,000 trips have been made on the new bridge daily since – an extra 1,000 journeys per day compared to the old footbridge.
The new 65-metre-long bridge is three times as wide as the old footbridge at 3.7metres, increasing access to more people, and the new ramps and steps mean it is accessible even when the River Ouse is in flood.
The £4.4m project was funded by a £1.9m grant through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, a £1.5m from the government’s Local Growth Fund awarded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER EP) and £1m of City of York Council funds.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with City of York Council on this scheme, which we hope will see even more people making the most of the improved access between Scarborough Bridge, the train station and the city centre, including residents, commuters and tourists travelling by bike or on foot and, importantly, people with mobility issues.
“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.”
Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: “The new path over Scarborough Bridge for cyclists, walkers and those who use mobility aids has made a huge difference to so many people who live in, work in and visit York by connecting a number of key routes. I welcome these latest proposals, which are a further boost for people who travel sustainably around the city, as well as those people who use mobility aids. Providing improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians is a key element of our efforts to reduce congestion and improve air quality.”
Proposals to further improve accessibility at York Rail Station, and wider developments including York Central, are part of the recently submitted Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund bid.
The bid was developed in partnership by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, City of York Council and partners from across the Leeds City Region.
If successful, the funding will transform the front of the railway station, making it easier for people to travel by public transport, by bike and on foot. A decision on the bid is expected in March 2020.