New date confirmed for Parkgate pedestrian bridge installation
A new bridge that will link the Central Park development with Darlington Railway station is set to be lifted into place.
The bridge is 36m in length and will cross the busy Parkgate in a single span, providing quicker and safer access for pedestrians and cyclists between the two sites.
The project, which forms part of the Sustainable Access to Employment programme and is funded jointly by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and Darlington Borough Council, aims to open up safer access from the station to the growing business, education and housing developments on Central Park.
Work to lift the bridge into position will take place on the night of Monday 12 November, subject to weather conditions. To complete the work safely, Parkgate will be closed to traffic in both directions between 11.30pm and 6am.
Signed diversions will be in place for all vehicles, including buses. During the closure the last two journeys on Arriva services 2 and 13a/b will divert via Hundens Lane and Haughton Road.
Pedestrians will be directed from Parkgate into the station concourse and over the footbridge. Cyclists can follow the vehicle diversion route or carry their bike over the station footbridge.
There is no reasonable alternative route for disabled people, so a wheelchair accessible taxi will be available to anyone who needs it to avoid the closure.
Once the bridge is in place works will continue to complete improvements to Adelaide Street and St John’s Place. The new route is expected to open to the public in the coming weeks.
Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said: “The project is progressing well and it will be great to see the new bridge lifted into place.
“It’s a large piece of infrastructure that will add to the revitalisation of the Parkgate area and make connections between the station and Central Park easier and safer for a large number of people.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s fantastic to see that we’re now days away from having a safer, easier entrance to Darlington station, which complements our wider plans to completely redevelop the entire station.
“This improvement will improve access to Central Park which is set to become a key asset in our emerging life sciences sector. Improving this connection will throw open the doors for future investment and economic growth on the site, which will benefit not only Darlington but the wider Tees Valley.”
Discussions are in place with a train operator to include a ‘cycling channel’ on the bridge, to make the bridge easier for cyclists to use. However, there is no confirmed timescale for this work at present.