A new foot and cycle bridge will be located to the north of the Town Bridge offering a safer, traffic-free crossing of the Great Ouse. It will create a direct link from Crosshall Road to the Priory Centre and main shopping area. The bridge should be completed by early 2021.
On the west side it will form a safe, convenient link to Crosshall School and Eaton Ford through the park and on the east side the bridge will give good access to both Priory Park and Priory Junior schools as well as Longsands College, the railway station and local leisure facilities.
In 2001, residents were asked for their views on a transport strategy. A southern and northern bridge were supported to improve walking and cycling links for the town. The southern Willow Bridge was opened in 2011, providing a safe, direct and accessible link to encourage more journeys by foot and bike. Building a northern bridge is the focus of this project.
Summer 2017 Consultation
There were three possible locations as well as a fourth option to consider if the existing bridge in the town centre could be improved. This options were put forward for a public consultation in Summer 2017. Summer exhibitions were also held locally for residents to provide feedback.
- Option 1: The most northerly crossing location, linking Regatta Meadow to St Anselm Place and making for a direct link from Crosshall Road to the Rowing Club.
- Option 2: This location is just north of the Town Bridge, linking Regatta Meadow to Priory Lane and making for a direct link from Crosshall Road to the Priory Centre, Waitrose and the main shopping area.
- Option 3: Improvements could be made to the Town Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians by widening the existing shared use footway..
- Option 4: This location is just to the south of the Town Bridge, linking Riverside Car Park to River Terrace and the main shopping area.
The consultation period on possible locations ended on 7 August 2017. Option 2 was selected as the favourite option. This was approved by Cambridgeshire County Council's Environment and Economy Committee on 7 December 2017.
Costs and funding
The £3.5 - £4 million bridge will be part funded from Section 106 money secured against new housing developments, along with other capital funding sources that will be pursued if the project progresses further.
What the bridge could look like
Further consultation will be done in 2018 to decide the look and specific form of the bridge. A standard bridge of fairly simple design (as per Willow Bridge) or more of an architect designed statement bridge are the main options. The final design would be subject to a full planning application.
On the basis of construction costs and future maintenance requirements in all cases a new bridge would be made of steel rather than timber or reinforced concrete.