The new Parkgate Bridge has officially opened to pedestrians and cyclists in Darlington.
The 36 metre bridge connects Darlington Railway Station with Central Park and provides quicker and safer access for pedestrians and cyclists between the two sites.
To ensure Parkgate Bridge is as safe and easy to use as possible, the bridge has been fitted with an anti-slip surface, as well as LED lighting.
As well as putting the new bridge in place, the area alongside the railway line and to the rear of the East End club has been opened up and landscaped with trees and shrubs in order to create a safe, scenic walking route to the station.
The project has been funded jointly by Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and Darlington Borough Council and delivered as part of the Sustainable Access to Employment programme.
The existing bridge into the station will also be adapted so that bicycles can be moved up and down the steps with ease. This work is set to be carried out by London North Eastern Railway (LNER).
Parkgate Bridge was officially opened by Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment.
He said: “The opening of Parkgate Bridge is the culmination of many months of hard work and planning all aimed at making sure we have a safer and easier entrance to Darlington station to benefit everyone.”
Julie McCartney, Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Manager, said: “We realise the importance of this project, and its benefits, which is why we put forward almost £1 million of funding.
“The better access that it provides will also support our wider vision for the station’s complete transformation.
She continued: “The timing couldn’t be better. Our investment in the landmark £22.3million National Horizons Centre will soon be paying off when it opens its doors in Central Park soon.
“This bridge will more closely link the station and the growing life sciences hub, already home to the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, which is central to this emerging sector.”
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a Britain fit for the future.
“The Parkgate Bridge being opened today is a significant milestone for Darlington.
“Thanks to £945,0000 investment from the Local Growth Fund, residents and visitors will not only enjoy safer and better access to Darlington Railway Station but also improved links between growing businesses on the nearby Central Park and this key transport hub.
“Enhancing connectivity, both for residents and the local economy, is fundamental to the Government’s vision for a stronger Northern Powerhouse.”
Source: Darlington Borough Council