New Parkgate bridge officially opens today
The new Parkgate Bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists from today.
The 36 metre bridge, which connects Darlington train station with Central Park, crosses the busy Parkgate in a single span, providing quicker and safer access for pedestrians and cyclists between the two sites.
The bridge features an anti-slip surface and LED lighting to ensure it’s as safe and easy to use as possible.
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 to create a pleasant, clean and tidy 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
Putting the bridge in place provides safer access from the station to the growing business, education and housing developments on Central Park.
It also provides a continuous and safe walking and cycling route from Haughton Road to the train station.
The existing bridge into the station will also be adapted so that bicycles can be more easily moved up and down the steps. This work will be carried out soon by London North Eastern Railway (LNER).
The bridge was opened by Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment who 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 £1million of funding. The better access that it provides will also support our wider vision for the station’s complete transformation.
“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 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.”