Humber Bridge could become the UK's first musical road in £30m tourism plan

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 7 Nov 2018

A £30 million plan to make the Humber Bridge a major tourist attraction could see it become the UK's first musical road.

A 12-year vision which also includes thrill rides to the top of the towers and virtual reality experiences has been approved by the bridge board and the masterplan was released yesterday.

Under the plans, the next few years would see musical rumble strips fitted to the bridge to play a tune as cars drive over, making it the first road of its kind in the UK.

The bridge's north tower could be opened up to hard-hat tours with spectacular views over the Humber as soon as next year.

Possible future developments could also see a "thrilling ride inspired by a wind turbine", cradle rides beneath the carriageways and rides over the suspension cables.

The Humber Bridge could become the UK's first musical road (Image: Peter Harbour)

And virtual reality technology is also to be introduced to enable every part of the bridge to be explored without actually being there.

Bridge board officials say the scheme would be self-funded from the start, with ongoing work paid for using revenues generated by the attraction itself, not from toll fees.

Other future developments outlined in the masterplan, which would be delivered in four phases, include a visitors' centre and an engineering-themed park and play zone.

Read more: Chinese leaders look to Humber as key supplier for offshore plans

Opening the north anchorage to the public for the first time is also included in the masterplan, with concerts and performances to be introduced there.

And fitting LED lights to the underside of the road, showing the bridge's curve, is another part of the development plan.

The bridge board has forecast the project could generate up to £29 million for the local economy over the 10-year development period, then £4 million per year after the scheme is complete.

Councillor David Watson, chairman of the Humber Bridge Board, said the plan was exciting news for the region.

Thrill-seekers would be able to take trips to the top of the north tower in the first stage of the bridge tourism plan (Image: Dan Urben)

He said: "Ian Ritchie Architects have put together a tremendous plan which has huge, positive implications for tourism, local residents and the region as a whole.

"By focusing on the unique aspects of the Humber Bridge and the Humber region, and making those the basis of their ideas, they have formulated a plan which provides everything from thrilling rides to concerts and performances in the inner recesses of the bridge, artistic and engineering-inspired spaces, educational opportunities and experiences across the bridge.

"It is an incredibly impressive plan which has got the full backing of the Humber Bridge Board."

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Mr Watson said he had confidence that most of the proposed ideas would go forward and become a reality.

He said: "We are determined that the attraction will be self-funding and profitable from the start.

"Therefore, any part of it that does not meet this test will either not be developed or will be discounted.

"That said, the ideas are so strong we imagine the vast majority, if not all of the plan, will come to fruition."

The Humber Bridge tourism masterplan in full

The ambitious plan lays out how the Humber Bridge could become a major tourist attraction over the next 12 years. Here is what is included in each stage of the masterplan.

Near future (2018-2019)

A rebranding process
Hard-hat tours of the north tower
Guided torus of the site
Expanded events and festivals calendar
Engineering-based sculptures.

Short term (2019-2022)

Become the UK's first musical road
North anchorage opened to the public
VR experiences
LED Lights fitted to underside of the bridge
Engineering-themed play zone.

Medium term (2023-2027)

Thrilling ride inspired by a wind turbine
Ride beneath the bridge
Visitor centre
Engineering and energy-themed park
Introduction of concerts and performances in north anchorage.

Long term (2028-2030)

South anchorage opened to visitors
Ride over suspension cables
Expanded learning zones focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, maths).

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