New Charter Street Bridge plans submitted
Published on Wednesday, November 2, 2016
PLANS have been revealed for a new, five-metre wide footbridge connecting Abbey Park to Belgrave Road.
Leicester City Council is proposing to build the Charter Street bridge linking the park with the Leicester Riders arena next to the Grand Union Canal, as part of an improved cycle and pedestrian route from the city centre to Abbey Park itself.
The scheme is part of its Connecting Leicester project, which is designed to improve public spaces and pedestrian and cycle links between key parts of the city.
Plans were originally submitted last year for a three-metre wide footbridge, but these have now been updated to include a five-metre wide bridge, more suitable for accommodating the large numbers of people who would use the route for major events at Abbey Park, such as the Bonfire Night festivities.
The design means people using the bridge will be able to see a new approach into Abbey Park.
An artist’s impression of the new bridge has now been released by the city council, as part of a planning application which is being submitted.
Plans being submitted for planning approval include the bridge itself, and the new access into Abbey Park, as well as links to the canal towpath.
If it gets approved, work could start in the new year and is expected to take about 17 weeks.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This bridge creates a new gateway into Abbey Park from the city centre, which helps to connect the city centre with the Golden Mile, the park, the cycle and pedestrian footpath network and the canal path.
“I was concerned that the three-metre wide bridge featured in the original proposals would be limited in the number of people it could have carried, so plans were drawn up for a larger, five-metre wide version.
“Abbey Park is already the venue for hugely popular events such as Bonfire Night, and a bridge with the capacity to carry a larger number of people will not only be helpful to existing events, but could also increase the potential for Abbey Park to host further major events and attractions.”
The bridge would be the latest stage in a package of road, cycleway and footpath improvements linking Belgrave and the city centre.
Nearby Memory Lane has already been upgraded with newly-surfaced footways and carriageway, linking Leicester College with the Riders arena and the proposed footbridge, while footway improvements and new cycle provision have taken place in Charter Street itself.
An area of land on Archdeacon Lane has been upgraded into a high-quality public open space, including the planting of 22 new trees and the installation of new cycle racks and seating.
The work is also linked to a series of improvements funded through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.
The North City Centre Access Improvement Programme covers a wide range of related projects involving improving vehicle, pedestrian and cycle connectivity between key commercial, retail and leisure areas.
It also connects key development sites including the city centre, Belgrave Road area, Abbey Park, Abbey Meadows/Pioneer Park regeneration area, the new community arena, Leicester College and the new Haymarket Bus Station.
In addition, the Canal and River Trust have improved the towpath at the bridge site to make it more suitable for pedestrians and cyclists, as part of a £7.5million Local Growth Fund project which will see them working with the city council and Environment Agency on waterway improvements over the next five years.
The highways works on Charter Street, Memory Lane and Archdeacon Lane have cost £1m. The bridge is expected to cost about £1.3m.
The entire north city area investment programme will see an investment of £14million of which £9million is from the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF) and £5million the city council.
(Ends)Image of new bridge available on request.