About the bridge
The new Market Gate Bridge will link the new town square with the transport interchange and Market Gate Car Park. It will be a landmark feature on the town centre skyline. It will also open up more routes to the town centre through active travel – on foot, bike, wheelchair or scooter. There's a temporary bridge over the Jumble Lane level crossing until the new bridge opens.
Benefits of the bridge
The bridge will be fully accessible with lifts at both ends. It will also be cyclist-friendly. Cyclists will be able to take their bikes into the lifts, or walk them up the steps using the cycle wheel groove. It also opens up more active travel routes into the town centre; with the Metrodome and Barnsley Football Club. The bridge will be a prominent and iconic feature on Barnsley’s skyline, which has already changed with the development of The Glass Works.
The improved connectivity will also benefit the planned youth zone next to the interchange, as well as The Seam nearby.
The former Jumble Lane level crossing was closed as part of Network Rail’s Level Crossing Risk Reduction Programme. The aim of this work was to close level crossings where possible, to remove the risk to the national rail network. Network Rail has contributed £2 million to the bridge.
This funding would have allowed the construction of a basic, functional footbridge over the railway. However, the council decided to explore more funding opportunities and to include it as part of the wider town centre regeneration. This would enable the construction of a more ambitious design which compliments The Glass Works.
Market Gate Bridge represents a major investment backed by Network Rail and the South Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority. It's important that the new bridge is of as high a quality as The Glass Works.
The forecast £9.7 million total cost includes additional work over the original proposals. It also allows for increases in steel and other material costs since the bridge was first designed. The scheme includes further public realm, landscaping and highway improvements at both ends of the bridge.
The bridge was designed by architects from IBI Group with structural engineering from Waterman Group. It's being constructed by engineering specialist Keltbray.
Temporary bridge closures on Barnsley FC match days
When the crossing was closed in March 2019 by Network Rail for safety reasons, a temporary bridge was installed to allow pedestrians to cross over the railway line safely.
That bridge closes for an hour before kick-off, during the match and an hour after each home game until further notice. This is to support the safety of fans and other users. This is subject to change based on individual matches.
The alternative walking routes to Oakwell include:
There will be no access for supporters via the Alhambra Centre or The Glass Works.
As part of the operation, the following changes will be in place at Barnsley Interchange, if needed:
- There may be no access through the interchange. The bridge between the bus station and the railway station may be closed except for those with access needs, passengers with a valid train ticket, or Buzz Bingo members with a valid pass/permit.
- Pedestrian access to and from the bus station will, as necessary, be via Eldon Street and Schwäbisch Gmünd Way.
- Access to the interchange from Schwäbisch Gmünd Way will, as necessary, be for access to the railway station only. This includes being open for fans travelling to and from the game by rail.
- The existing temporary accessible route via Schwäbisch Gmünd Way and the transport interchange is available for those with access needs.
Supporters are reminded to use the designated and installed crossing points on the roads for their safety and other match-going fans.
Wheelchair users or supporters with pushchairs are advised to use the pavement/footway on the Courthouse side of Eldon Street during peak times to avoid congestion.
Fans are also advised to pay attention to road signs when travelling to and from the game.
To help the access routes for Barnsley FC home matches, there will be partial and/or full closures of the Harborough Hill exit slip roads, Schwäbisch Gmünd Way and Eldon Street North. These will be in place from half-time until an hour after full-time for most matches.
Further closures may be necessary for certain fixtures. This will follow discussions between Barnsley FC, South Yorkshire Police and the council. Updates will be provided closer to the time.
A Barnsley Council traffic management contractor will manage the road closures. There are no immediate road closures around Oakwell.
For vehicle users:
Vehicle access to the Metrodome is maintained via Wesley Street, Lambra Road, Pontefract Road and Bala Street.
Vehicle access to Oakwell is maintained via Pontefract Road and Grove Street.
Vehicle access to Buzz Bingo is via the open ‘Harborough Hill side’ of Schwäbisch Gmünd Way, with exit onto the downhill-side Harborough Hill entry slip road.
There is no left turn from Regent Street, other than for buses to access the bus station.
Customers will not be able to enter or leave the railway station car park during the closure times. Pick up and drop off will be available on Schwabisch Gmund Way, Eldon Street North or Midland Street.
Market Gate car park will be closed.
Where vehicle users approach a road closure they will not be allowed access and an alternative route will need to be used.
Market Gate Bridge will link the existing public transport and the Market Gate car park to The Glass Works. It will be fully accessible and will accommodate footfall on match days.
For a full list of Barnsley FC fixtures, please visit the club website. Please note all fixtures are subject to change.
More information on parking, including entering and leaving The Glass Works car park, can be found on our parking webpage.
Barnsley Council, Barnsley FC, Northern Railway and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your continued patience. These arrangements will all end upon the completion of the new Market Gate Bridge which will be fully open on matchdays.
Frequently asked questions
When will the new bridge be open?
The new bridge is scheduled to open by late summer 2023.
Will the new bridge be open on Barnsley FC match days?
Yes, the bridge will accommodate match-day pedestrian traffic.
Why did the old level crossing have to close?
The former Jumble Lane level crossing was closed as part of Network Rail’s Level Crossing Risk Reduction Programme. The aim of this work was to close level crossings where possible, to remove the risk to the national rail network. This programme was funded until March 2019 and the crossing had to be closed by this date to qualify for Network Rail’s investment of £2 million. This is why a temporary bridge was installed in 2019, so the level crossing could be closed before the funding deadline.
Why hasn’t this new bridge been built sooner?
There's been a delay to the start of this project due to several issues including sewer diversion work and the process of appointing a contractor. We identified a preferred contractor after a lengthy tender process. However, we identified some concerns about their financial viability when they were completing their due diligence checks.
Our teams spent months negotiating with the contractor to build safeguards into the contract. This would have made sure the council and investments were protected in the event that the firm ran into difficulties. After months of hard work, a position was agreed in July 2021 which protected the council and allowed work to begin.
This was finally signed by the contractor on 30 September, but the firm fell into administration just four days later. Within two days, the firm’s infrastructure assets, including the contract to build the bridge, were acquired by Keltbray from the administrators. However, more time was required to transfer the contract to Keltbray. This work has now been successfully completed. Construction off-site began in February 2022.
Where is the funding coming from?
The project has attracted external investment of almost £7 million. Network Rail is contributing £2 million with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority contributing a further £4.8 million via their Get Britain Building and Transforming Cities funds. The rest will be funded by Barnsley Council as part of the wider town centre regeneration.
The budget includes additional work over the original proposals, including sewer diversion works and all professional fees. It also allows for increases in steel and other material costs since the bridge was first designed. The scheme includes further public realm and highway improvements at both ends of the bridge.
Will the bridge be open 24 hours a day?
Yes. The bridge will be open all day, all year round, and will be well lit and covered by CCTV cameras.
Will I be able to cycle over the bridge?
Cyclists will be able to take their bikes into the lifts, or walk them up the steps using a cycle wheel groove built into the bridge.
Will the lifts be accessible to all?
The lifts will provide a level platform at both ends of the bridge for pedestrians and any users of pushchairs, wheelchairs and other mobility aids. This will provide step-free access between the street level and the bridge deck, 24 hours a day.
Will the bridge deck be suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues?
The bridge is designed with a slight camber, no steeper than 1:25, which would be comfortable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues.
What provision is made for visually impaired people?
Tactile surfacing will be used at both street-level and on the bridge deck upon approach to the steps, lifts, and cable housings. The handrails, walkways, steps and nosings will all be of an appropriate contrasting colour to the bridge structure to aid those with visual impairment.
Will the bridge be well-lit?
Lighting of the bridge will be bright and constant to ensure that all walkway surfaces, stairs and handrails remain visible.
Are you removing trees as part of the project?
The early stages of the work will mean some trees and landscaping are removed. These will be replaced with new trees, shrubs and other planting once the bridge is complete.
Will the works affect Market Gate Car Park?
Market Gate Car Park will be open throughout most of the construction period, except for some limited closures when heavy equipment like cranes and piling machines are needed on-site. However, the number of spaces in the car park will be reduced during the works, and a small number will be closed permanently as they fall in the path of the bridge. This was always the intention when the car park was created and there is capacity in the nearby Glass Works multi-story car park, accessed from the junction of Wesley Street and Lambra Road.
How long will it take to build the bridge?
Work to construct steel sections of the bridge began in February 2022. Work on-site is due to take place between July 2022 and July 2023.
While a lot of the construction has been completed off-site, there is still a lot of work to do in creating the foundations and abutments to the bridge, installing the various sections, as well as the lifts, highway and landscaping works around the bridge.
The bridge is a large, one-off design. Due to its complexity and size it will need to be delivered in sections. It will need to be temporarily propped up until all sections have been lifted into place and then all welded together.
The schedule needs to be carefully built around the times the railway line can be closed, which will be through the night on Saturdays into Sundays. Work which needs to take place directly over the line itself, such as lifting sections into place, can only be completed during these times in agreement and full co-operation with Network Rail.
The programme schedule includes:
- Site set up
- Site clearance
- Piling works (foundations)
- Form abutment base and abutments
- Pylon delivery and assembly
- Install pylon
- Bridge deck sections, delivery, assembly and install
- Stair foundations and lift pits
- Works to deck, staircases, steelwork and cladding
- Installation of lifts, all steel work, testing and commissioning
- Kerbing and paving
- Carriageway finishes
- Street furniture and planting