The construction of a new pedestrian bridge in Barnsley town centre moved a step closer today after Barnsley Council agreed to enter into a funding agreement with Network Rail.
The new Market Gate Bridge will provide pedestrians and cyclists with a safe and accessible route over the main Sheffield to Leeds railway line, connecting the existing public transport provision and Market Gate Car Park to The Glass Works, Barnsley’s new retail and leisure destination. This will enable the permanent closure of the existing Jumble Lane level crossing.
The council’s next step is to start detailed design work on the new bridge. The aim is to create a true landmark feature as part of The Glass Works, which acts as a genuine gateway into the town centre. It will be designed with a wide deck to accommodate a significant number of people, which will be particularly useful on match days at Oakwell.
The commitment of £2 million from Network Rail to part-fund the project is dependent on the completion of the new bridge by March 2019. This fits in with the overall delivery of The Glass Works development.
As well as improving pedestrian accessibility within the town centre and addressing safety concerns associated with the existing level crossing, the new bridge is also important in the long-term plans for expansion of capacity on the Sheffield to Leeds railway line. The closure of the existing Jumble Lane level crossing will allow for increased capacity at Barnsley Station. This will enable Barnsley to capitalise on its strategic location between Leeds and Sheffield and benefit from future rail growth and opportunities arising from HS2.
Councillor Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “This new bridge has been a longstanding ambition of the council and we are very pleased to enter into this partnership agreement with Network Rail to deliver this project. With the twin benefits of providing a landmark arrival point to The Glass Works and also addressing safety concerns within the town centre, we see this as a critical element of the wider town centre regeneration.”