New bridge to provide easier access for cyclists between Cambridge and Ely

Bridge forms part of Fenland Sustrans project expected to be fully open by 2013

by Simon_MacMichael   June 10, 2010  

Reach Lode Bridge (picture credit - Sustrans).jpg

 A new bridge has been put into place in the Fenland area of East Anglia as part of a 14-5 kilomotre Greenway that will help cyclists, walkers and horse riders avoid having to take long detours as a result of the numerous rivers and streams in the low-lying region.

Called the Lodes Way, the route has been created by Sustrans working in partnership with the National Trust, and according to the sustainable transport charity it fills in a gap in the National Cycle Network’s Route 11 between Waterbeach and Wicken Fen, which it says will make it easier for cyclists to get between Ely and Cambridge.

The new Reach Lodes Bridge, which has sloping ramps to provide easy access, will be officially opened on Sunday 12 September, together with a new walking and cycle path across Burwell Fen, and has been designed so as not to intrude on the local landscape.

Nigel Brigham, Sustrans Regional Director said: "It's great to see this simple, elegant and practical bridge become a reality so that the communities can start to really use these walking and cycling routes for local journeys. This scheme will provide vital links to connect places and people and will give communities more choice about how they travel around this area and how they can do it more sustainably."

Chris Soans, Wicken Fen Property Manager, who was at the lifting of the bridge together with members of the local community, added: "Construction of the bridge has created a great deal of interest in the local communities. The bridge represents a significant step in the development of the Lodes Way. For the first time walkers and cyclists will be able to take a cross country route between Wicken Fen and Bottisham and explore new areas of our magnificent countryside".

The scheme is expected to costs more than £2.0million, of which £600,000 will be provided by Sustrans under the Big Lottery Fund, with the Department for Communities and Local Government also contributing through its Housing Growth Fund. It is expected that the Lodes Way will be fully completed by 2013.