Brayford footbridge back on the table as new designs unveiled

Network Rail has announced that it will move ahead with plans for a footbridge over the Brayford Wharf level crossing.

The scheme was originally supposed to have been completed in September 2013 but rising costs and delays caused the project to be shelved in the summer of 2015, with Network Rail describing the project as no longer affordable.

However, the rail operator has now revealed more cost-effective redesigns for the footbridge and aims to submit a formal planning application in the autumn.

Changes include the apparent removal of lifts, leaving stepped access.

New designs revealed for the Brayford Wharf footbridge on April 8, 2016. Photo: Network Rail

New designs revealed for the Brayford Wharf footbridge on April 8, 2016. Photo: Network Rail

The footbridge has been subject to a number of redesigns in recent years.

The footbridge has undergone a number of delays and redesigns since its initial proposal.

The footbridge has undergone a number of delays and redesigns since its initial proposal. These are all the previous designs

Network Rail has also confirmed that the High Street footbridge is expected to open this summer.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “I know how disruptive the level crossings in Lincoln can be to the city centre.

“I am also very concerned by the high levels of misuse we continue to see on these crossings with people rushing over the lines after the warning sequence has started.

Work progressing on the High Street footbridge. Photo: Sarah Barker for The Lincolnite

Work progressing on the High Street footbridge. Photo: Sarah Barker for The Lincolnite

Work on the bridge on High Street is progressing well. It will open this summer to provide an accessible, safe route across the railway for pedestrians and cyclists at all times.

“This will also be linked to Brayford Wharf via a new footpath, giving better options to residents, students, shoppers and visitors than they have had in living memory.

“As locals are aware we also want to install a bridge at Brayford Wharf East but have faced considerable challenges through rising costs.

“I am delighted to announce that by working with stakeholders in Lincoln we have been able to redesign the bridge to make it more affordable whilst still retaining high design standards which city officials were keen to see.

This design is still more expensive than our original budget but we will be able to meet this cost.

“My team is working up the detailed proposals for the bridge and will submit a planning application in the Autumn.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, who previously said that Network Rail had “let the city down”, has now described his delight that the project will move forward.

He said: “It will be of huge benefit to the city of Lincoln.

Alongside the coming High Street footbridge and better direct rail services to London, Lincoln will soon be one of Britain’s most rail friendly cities for passengers, pedestrians and motorists alike.

“The missing pieces of the transport jigsaw in Lincoln are all coming together to create a joined up city, exactly what we need to take advantage of Lincoln’s thriving economy.”