Cyclists and walkers in the North East are to benefit from a new bridge over the River Blyth being built as part of a £5 million investment in an active travel project.
The bridge, to be built close to Humford Mill and linking Blyth and Cambois, will be part financed by money from Sustrans under the Big Lottery initiative, replaces earlier plans for a ferry link a few miles along the river, dropped because the local council could not afford the ongoing costs of such a facility.
Northumberland County Council and Sustrans have been working on revised plans for sustainable transport initiatives in the area, which will see £5 million invested in a drive to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce car dependency.
That money will be provided by Sustrans, which is making £3.58 million available, comprising £1.35 million from the Big Lottery Fund and £2.25 million from its Link To Schools programme, nearly £1 million from the local transport plan and £390,000 from the South East Northumberland Growth Point Initiative.
Besides the bridge, other infrastructure in the pipeline includes a new shared cycle and pedestrian route linking Blyth’s South Beach with the town centre and nearby Bedlington, and a similar path from Cramlington to Blyth.
Northumberland County Council Highways and Policy Strategy Manager Dick Fraser told local newspaper The Journal that the new bridge would help walkers and cyclists avoid a busy main road and provide a link to Bedlington with sustainable transport facilities in Cramlington.
The newspaper added that a Sustrans spokeswoman had told it that the bridge would prove an even more valuable facility than the originally planned ferry.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.