Work building vital Castle Street footbridge in Hull will begin next year
BIG PLANS: Work on a footbridge over Castle Street will begin next year
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 31 Oct 2017
Work will begin on the planned footbridge over Castle Street next year - well ahead of the main thrust of the £250m improvement scheme for Hull's busiest street.
Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy met with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last week and was informed on Monday it has been agreed the footbridge will be "de-coupled" from the wider scheme.
Work on the crossing, providing a vital link between Princes Quay and the Marina, will be brought forward to the end of 2018.
Mrs Hardy and Councillor Martin Mancey, Hull City Council's portfolio for economic investment, regeneration and planning, have spent months lobbying the Government on the issue.
Following safety concerns, there was speculation that a temporary bridge could be constructed.
Mrs Hardy said: "It is fantastic to hear that the building of a permanent bridge has been brought forward as this will definitely help alleviate some of the traffic and health and safety problems.
"However, there has been no announcement or confirmation on whether the rest of the project will be delayed further. This is something I asked the Government about at our meeting last week.
"While the announcement that the bridge has been brought forward is a major step in the delivery of this essential improvement, it is by no means the end of the road.
"I will continue to press both the Government and Highways England to ensure they stick to the plans they have laid out today and the programme for the remainder of the main scheme they previously committed to."
In August, Highways England announced work on the Castle Street upgrade will not get underway until early 2020, with completion not expected until 2015 - two years later than previously proposed.
"This development is key to the continued economic growth of the Hull and Humber region and so this news is welcomed," said Mrs Hardy. "Hull has seen vast economic investment since it gained City of Culture status and Siemens built its green energy hub in the city.
"With regional devolution, Hull will also continue to grow as a port which will be crucial in the development of this region and the country.
"The investment into the Castle Street development will more than pay for itself and ensure Hull continues to grow and build the economy of the United Kingdom."
Cllr Mancey welcomed the move, but spoke of the need to keep pressuring the Government to deliver the wider scheme with out further delay.
He said: "After years of lobbying successive secretaries of state, I am relieved that we have, at last, gained a commitment to the timetable for the construction of the footbridge.
"This is an essential part of the infrastructure connecting the city centre to the newly emerging and highly successful regeneration of the Fruit Market.
"It is disappointing that it has taken so long for the Government to acknowledge the importance of this bridge but at least we now have a firm date for construction to commence. We must now maintain the pressure on Highways England and the Secretary of State to deliver the rest of the scheme without further delay."