North East Lincolnshire Council’s Cabinet have approved plans for a new accessible footbridge over the railway at Suggitt’s Lane in Cleethorpes.
The Council and Network Rail have released new images of the proposed bridge after the decision at the Cabinet Meeting on 10 March.
The £3.6million project will provide a new alternative access over the railway in the seaside town. Due to the unique circumstances at Suggitt’s Lane, funding is being provided by Network Rail and the Department for Transport to build the bridge.
The plans will now be shared with the public during a community engagement window which will run from Thursday 11 March until Friday 26 March. During this time, people in the community will be able to view more details and comment on the plans online, ahead of the start of a formal planning process for the new accessible footbridge.
Anybody wanting to look at the plans and provide feedback can do so by visiting: www.nelincs.gov.uk/have-your-say
Depending on the outcome of this process, Network Rail will then look to begin the construction process, aiming to deliver the new bridge as quickly as possible in late 2021.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council welcomed the decision and said: “I’d like to thank Network Rail and the Department for Transport for listening to local people’s views on how important this access was for them.
“I know a lot of hard work has gone into the proposals so far from everyone involved and I’m delighted this has now been approved. I’ll be watching the project with keen interest and I look forward to hopefully seeing the residents’ access across the railway restored soon.
“It’s what people have been asking for and now we can let people know about the plans and hopefully move things forward to a successful conclusion.”
Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “We are delighted that the plans for an accessible footbridge at Suggitt’s Lane have been approved.
“We know how important access over the railway is for people in Cleethorpes and we appreciate their continued patience whilst we’ve worked with the Council to find the best option.
“I look forward to hearing local feedback on the plans. Depending on the feedback we get during the engagement and subsequent planning process, we’ll look to carry out work to install the footbridge as soon as we can. This will once again connect people in the town to the seafront.”
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “I’m delighted to see plans for a new accessible footbridge approved. Our investment with Network Rail will give people in Cleethorpes a safe connection to their seafront, and I look forward to seeing this being completed later this year.”
Martin Vickers, Member of Parliament for Cleethorpes, said: “I am delighted that following many months of discussions, the Council have been able to approve a clear plan to resolve the matter. Whilst I disagreed with Network Rail’s initial decision, I am grateful to them for helping to reach a conclusion which will allow all residents – whether able-bodied or disabled – to safely cross the railway line at Suggitt’s Lane.
“I know this will also be welcome news to local people and the nearby businesses which have been adversely affected by the closure. I do not believe this solution would have been reached without the intervention of the Prime Minister who has taken a keen interest in the matter.”
Network Rail took the decision to close Suggitt’s Lane in April 2019 for safety reasons. Since then, North East Lincolnshire Council and Network Rail have worked closely together on plans for an alternative access over the railway.