A bridge for the future as £3.6m Suggitt’s Lane crossing finally opens

The new Suggitt’s Lane bridge in Cleethorpes has finally opened after the original crossing was closed three years ago due to safety measures by Network Rail.

Residents, councillors and MPs have been campaigning to have the area reopened to allow easier access to the North Promenade of Cleethorpes. Residents have been using the nearby Fuller Street bridge whilst the new overpass was being built, but has limited to no access for those with bikes or in a wheelchair.

This new £ 3.1 million structure has been funded by Network Rail (£ 2m) and the Department of Transport (£ 1.6m) to help provide a more accessible route to the seaside resort. MP for Cleethorpes, Martin Vickers, has been a figure head of the campaign and is glad to finally see it open.

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He said: “We’ve spent three years on this particular campaign and it’s great to be here and to take part in the opening. It’s been a community campaign from the start, that was clear from day one.

“I remember coming down to Suggitt’s Lane a few days after the closure and people were gathered around and waving their banners, that was the start of the campaign. We had a debate in Parliament about it with numerous questions to the Prime Minister and there was also the memorable occasion when he said something to the effect of ‘Suggitt’s Lane is never far from the top of his mind’. “

Suggitts Lane bridge was officially opened today after being closed for three years

He added: “It’s something I’ll always remember in my career and will chalk it up as a success.”

Work began in June 2021, with much of the structure being built off-site to minimize the impact on people living nearby.

Engineers have installed an 11-meter-long main bridge deck weighing around 10 tonnes. The bridge has lighting, 300 meters of accessible ramps, and four CCTV cameras to improve safety in the area.

Residents were pleased with the bridge, stating that it was nice to finally be able to get a bike from one side to the other safely and comfortably.

William Palmer, 10, was part of the community group who spoke to Boris Johnson about Suggitt’s Lane bridge and is happy to see it open. He explained: “It’s nice to see it finished. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but it is good for cyclists and those with disabilities.

William Palmer, 10, met Boris Johnson to help campaign for the new crossing
William Palmer, 10, met Boris Johnson to help campaign for the new crossing

“Speaking to Boris, he said he would do something to improve the safety of the area and I’m glad he’s followed through on his promise.”

Julie Edwards, another local campaigner, gave Boris Johnson the petition to ask for the Suggitt’s Lane crossing to be reopened.

She said: “I’m so thankful for the support shown by local people, they’ve all worked so hard. We wouldn’t be here without them and it’s a relief to have finally got here.”

Councilor Philip Jackson thought the new bridge would help to improve business along the North Promenade.

He said: “This has been three years in the making and I think it will help the businesses in the North Promenade now it’s more accessible.

It’s been a long slog, but we knew we’d get there. ”

Residents overlooking the bridge were happy to see it open, but had their doubts about how invasive it might be. Lloyd Binns lives directly next to the bridge and said: “I’m happy with the bridge, but it is huge.

“I’m going up tonight to have a look at how much it looks into our bedroom and if I’ll have to adjust the blinds.”

Lynn Sayles, who runs the Community Group that petitioned for the new bridge, said: “As a group we’d like to thank the council and the ward councilors for their help throughout the process.”

Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councilor David Hasthorpe, opened the bridge at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Cllr Stewart Swinburn, is delighted with the outcome of the project. He said: “There is no doubt just looking at the new structure what a difference this will make especially to local people, who will now be able to enjoy safe and easy passage from their homes to the beach. This is a perfect example of partnership working at its best, which has delivered a great result and we want to thank everyone who has been involved. “

Andrew Murray, Director of Engineering and Asset Management for Network Rail, said: “I’m thrilled to see the footbridge now open for people in Cleethorpes. We’ve worked closely with North East Lincolnshire Council to build a safe and accessible route over the railway, which will restore a much-used link to the beachfront. I’d like to thank the community for their support whilst we built the bridge and I hope that its opening comes as welcome news. “

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