New multi-million pound leisure facility earmarked for Humber Bridge

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A mystery operator is lined up to develop a multi-million pound leisure facility at the Humber Bridge.

The unnamed operator is close to signing on the dotted line for the facility - with a formal announcement expected in the coming weeks.

A view of the Humber Bridge from the North Bank looking towards Barton upon Humber  Picture: Gary Longbottom

A view of the Humber Bridge from the North Bank looking towards Barton upon Humber Picture: Gary Longbottom

It comes as the Bridge Board said headline-making proposals announced last year - including the bridge hosting the UK's first musical road - would not now happen.

Chairman of the board Coun Sean Chaytor said the new facility "would invigorate tourism and leisure aspects of the bridge", adding: "We expect to make formal announcements within the next month."

It comes a year after a masterplan aimed at attracting an extra 400,000 visitors a year was published which included installing musical rumble strips which would play a tune when traffic drove over them, as well as a thrilling ride inspired by a wind turbine and a cradle-ride under the carriageways.

The initiatives were put forward two years after East Riding councillors rejected plans for a spectacular glass lift ride to the top of the bridge, as part of a scheme including offices and a hotel, which would have cost around £25m.

Coun Chaytor said a revised and "slimmed down" masterplan would be published in due course.

He said the musical road had first been proposed by the chief executive of City of Culture Martin Green, in the build up to Hull hosting the year-long celebration of arts and culture.

While an "interesting concept" at the time, it is no longer seen as a viable option.

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Coun Chaytor said no tollpayers or taxpayers money would be used to deliver the new facility, adding: "Our primary aim is to run the bridge and if we are going to do any form of tourism, we want to do it as a joint venture, where someone else takes the risk.

"The masterplan is being reviewed to make it viable and workable.

"Some of the things that were put forward (in 2018) might have been good but we are not prepared to spend tollpayers or taxpayers money on speculative schemes. Our primary aim is to run the bridge."

Coun Chaytor said the facility would be built on the edge of the car park, and there would have to be buffers to avoid encroaching onto areas used by the public in the adjacent 21-hectare Country Park.

Around 50,000 cyclists and 200,000 pedestrians, along with 50,000 people who just come to take a look, already visit the bridge every year.

The Humber Bridge is still the longest single span suspension bridge that people can walk and cycle over

Work started on the 1,410 metre-long (4,600ft) bridge in 1973.