The Peterborough Telegraph is today (Tuesday) launching a campaign to bring a cycle and footbridge to one of the city’s biggest new developments.
There are currently no plans for a foot and cycle bridge for the new Fletton Quays development - but there are increasing calls for one to be built in time for the project’s completion.
Residents and public groups and bodies have made a number of calls for the new crossing to be built. Space is being left at the development for a bridge to be built in the future.
However, before the crossing can be built, at least £2.5 million has to be raised to fund the construction work.
Peterborough Telegraph editor Mark Edwards said: “It’s clear from the reaction we have had from our readers via social media that the idea of a bridge is something that people want.
“Not only would it enhance the area but will be vital in taking pedestrian and cycle traffic away from the increasingly busy Town Bridge.
“The work on the south bank of the river in the city centre is welcomed by many and is certainly long-awaited. With such major plans coming to fruition it’s important that access to it and the Embankment is in place.
“We are supporting calls for the new bridge because it is what many of our readers want to see and we believe it would enhance access to the south bank and would improve safety by taking many pedestrians and cyclists away from the London Road.”
The issue will be raised by Labour councillor Richard Ferris at tomorrow night’s meeting of Peterborough City Council.
He said: “This is such an important part of the development. It is important we have this debate and get people talking about it.
“Fletton Quays is missing a lot - the bridge should be an integral part of the development.
“I’m driven by a passion to take pedestrians and cyclists away from traffic, and I’m very concerned that Town Bridge will be the only route from the town centre.
Toby Wood, vice chairman of the Peterborough Civic Society, backed the calls. He said: “If the bridge was started in 2018, we could use it to remember the century since the end of the Great War in 1918.
“People want to see something physical to show the city has improved, and this could be it.
“The word aspiration springs to mind. It all just makes sense - we have a lovely river, lets use it, and make it more attractive.”
Matthew Barber, head of partnerships for the midlands and east region for sustainable transport charity Sustrans said: “Town Bridge is shared usage for pedestrians and cyclists, but it is very narrow for the only route into the development.
“I don’t understand why the bridge was not part of the development - we have dealt with other similar developments and authorities where bridges have been built.”
One of the last bridges built in the city was the Millenium Bridge on the Green Wheel - and Mr Barber said a new crossing could match that success.
Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said he would also like to see a bridge built on the development - but finances meant it would not be happening in the short term.
He said: “A footbridge is in the overall plan, but the cost is £2.5 million - and that is just for the construction, without it taking you anywhere.
“We are keeping in place space for a bridge so we could build one in the future, but the short term answer is we cannot build it, unless we get funding.”