A multi-million pound project to build a footbridge over the railway line and offer direct access to the beachfront has been completed and opened in Cleethorpes.
The bridge at Suggitt’s Lane cost £3.6 million, which was jointly funded by Network Rail, contributing £2 million, and the Department for Transport, which offered up the remaining £1.6 million.
It included ramps and stairs to provide a safe, accessible route over the railway line from Suggitt’s Lane to the promenade at the North East Lincolnshire coastal resort.
The plans for the bridge were approved by council leaders in March 2021 in the hope of solving an issue brought on by the controversial closure of public access to the level crossing on Suggitt’s Lane in April 2019.
Work then began to install the bridge in June 2021, with most of the structure being built off-site and then lifted into place in order to minimise noise impact for nearby residents.
The bridge has been equipped with lighting, 300 metres of accessible ramps and four CCTV cameras to improve safety in the area.
With a footbridge now in place, there is easier access beyond the level crossing and onto the beach, one of the star attractions in Cleethorpes.
Martin Vickers, Member of Parliament for Cleethorpes, said: “The decision to close Suggitt’s Lane Level Crossing was highly controversial and has caused a lot of inconvenience for the local community. But we’re now able to move on.
“Thanks to the high-profile local campaign and the intervention of stakeholders including the Prime Minister, we now have this fantastic new facility that will provide all members of the local community safe access to the beach, the North Promenade and beyond.”
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Councillor Stewart Swinburn, is delighted with the outcome of the project.
He said: “There is no doubt just looking at the new structure what a difference this will make especially to local people, who will now be able to enjoy safe and easy passage from their homes to the beach.
“This is a perfect example of partnership working at its best, which has delivered a great result and we want to thank everyone who has been involved.”
Lynn, Sayles, who is a leading member of the Suggitt’s Lane Campaign Group, has said the completion of this project allows people to “have their freedom back”, bringing to an end a “long journey that has been so very worthwhile.”