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Old Tram Bridge secures spot in Preston City Council’s ‘Levelling Up’ bid

Posted on - 10th August, 2022 - 2:48pm | Author - | Posted in - Parks, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, South Ribble News, Transport
The Old Tram Bridge spans the River Ribble at Avenham Park Pic: Stephen Melling
The Old Tram Bridge spans the River Ribble at Avenham Park Pic: Stephen Melling

Old Tram Bridge has secured a spot in Preston and South Ribble’s £50m ‘Levelling Up’ bid that may see the building of a replacement foot and cycle bridge if successful.

Preston City Council’s bid focuses on two themes, ‘transport and culture’, covering Friargate South, Queen StreetAvenham Lane, Old Tram BridgePreston Bus Station, and WaverleyMoorAshton, and Grange Parks.

The Friends of the Old Tram Bridge have opened up about the bridge’s inclusion in the city council’s £20 million ‘Active Preston’ proposal, calling it a ‘great result’ for a lengthy campaign that saw local residents attempt to save the bridge following its closure in 2019 due to safety concerns.

Read more: Preston and South Ribble plans within £50m ‘Levelling Up’ bid

The Old Tram Bridge in the foreground Pic: Stephen Melling
The Old Tram Bridge in the foreground Pic: Stephen Melling

Glenn Cookson, the chair of the Friends of the Old Tram Bridge, said: “It was a big project, so it’s nice to see that it has finally come to fruition.

“We’re hopeful that the bid put forward by Preston is a good one, and we’ll hope that Central Government will see that and grant the money.

“With the selection process, things are changing all the time, so who knows what can happen, but we just have to remain hopeful.”

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The Old Tram Bridge
The Old Tram Bridge

Glenn believes the transport link offers the most significant aspect for residents as the bridge is a ‘good crossing’ between the south of Preston and the city centre, with many walkers, cyclists and horse riders using it.

The bid focused on the regeneration of Preston‘s four main parks and investment in its active travel infrastructure through packaged projects costing £24m, delivered in a ‘joined-up way’.

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The themes for Preston’s bid are:

Transport – investment in new and enhanced works to improve the active travel infrastructure in the city, including:

  • Segregated cycling and major public realm works at Friargate South and segregated routes along Queen Street/Avenham Lane
  • Building a new cycle/footbridge to replace the Old Tram Bridge
  • Building a new mobility hub to provide a secure cycling facility at Preston bus station.

Read more: South Ribble community hubs plan to see £500k investment

Glenn said: “I think the bridge benefits a multitude of people in Preston and South Ribble, and it will be really important to the transport link, but it’s also so rich in history and heritage, and there are a lot of Preston residents really passionate about that.

“I think they’ll be pleased to know that potentially there is a future for the bridge.

“People use that link from a commuting perspective, and it impacts journey time – just the logistics of getting to work – and from a green perspective, it reduces car and other transport travel.

“It’s a great result for the campaign, and we’re really thankful that Preston City Council has submitted a bid, and we remain hopeful that Central Government will grant the money – fingers crossed.”

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The council also seeks funding for cultural investment in four major city parks: Waverley Park, Moor Park, Ashton Park and Grange Park. 

The proposals involve the delivery of new, higher quality and more accessible sports/community facilities and pitches, pavilions, public realm and heritage safety and infrastructure improvements.

Councillor David Borrow, the cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “Given the amount of public support for replacing the Old Tram Bridge, we are delighted to include this project in our bid.

“The bridge will be an essential route connecting Preston with South Ribble, and we know that MPs have previously favoured this project.

“Our sustainable transport strategy emphasises the importance of the new bridge being part of the overall scheme.

“We hope the bid will be successful so we can finally forge ahead.”

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For more on The Friends of the Old Tram Bridge, visit – https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsoftrambridge/



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Are you pleased that the council included the bridge in its bid? Let us know in the comments below.

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