Changes are being proposed to Barnsley’s new landmark pedestrian railway bridge – partly brought about by costs for a lift system which has proved to be beyond the project’s budget.
Instead, conventional vertical lifts will now be installed to get pedestrians, the disabled and items such as pushchairs, bicycles and wheelchairs up from the ground floor to the span of the bridge, which replaces the now closed Jumble Lane crossing to straddle the railway line.
A temporary bridge is in place but that has a limited lifespan and is not big enough to cope with football traffic, meaning it has to be closed and fans diverted on a longer route around Old Mill Lane when Barnsley Football Club are playing at home.
Other changes are also proposed for the bridge, which already has planning permission in its original form, with councillors due to decide on whether to approve the changes at the next meeting of Barnsley Council’s planning board, on Tuesday November 19.
They include raising the height of the parapet, but installing glass to allow a better view of the area for those using it to cross between the town centre and the area beyond Kendray Street.
When the last application was made, it faced objections from the Gala bingo club, on the opposite side of the railway to the town centre, and Birdwell Wheelers cycling club.
Neither have raised objections to this application, but a report to councillors makes the blunt observation that the new design will provide superior access than the current arrangement, with Jumble Lane crossing now closed.
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The proposed lifts would be oversized units, each capable of carrying 26 passengers.
Other changes include modifications to the structure of the bridge, including the support structure for the 105 metre installation.
Pylons to support the structure would rise as high as 36 metres, providing a landmark in the town centre, the report states.
The report also warns the structure will be so large it could have other implications, stating: “The other main issue of significance is that the development has the potential to impact on sub terrain public sewer and water supply infrastructure.
“However Yorkshire Water are content that the matter can be adequately covered by a precommencement condition to require the necessary investigation work to inform protection measures and if a diversion/s are required.”
The application is being recommended for approval and if approved will replace that granted in October last year.