REGIONAL PARK SUPPORTS PARTNERSHIP PROJECT FOR A NEW "ACCESS-FOR-ALL" BRIDGE TO THE NENE WAY
Access to the Nene Way from Northampton's Midsummer Meadow has been reopened with the construction of a new bridge over the River Nene. Construction started on the 10th August, to replace the former pedestrian bridge over the old course of the river and upgrade the crossing to accommodate cyclists and provide access-for-all to the Nene Valley.
The partnership project is co-funded by the Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council, with the County Council supplying a substantial amount of funding for the project via the Local Transport Plan, and agreeing to construct and take on the management of the new bridge. However, the shortfall funding of £40,000 that was required for the scheme to proceed, was secured by the River Nene Regional Park (RNRP) from Defra's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF), which is administered by Natural England.
The new bridge provides an opportunity to encourage healthy activity for all groups within the community, with safe access for walking and cycling along the Nene Way to enjoy the green space and wildlife sites such as the Barnes Meadow Local Nature Reserve. In addition to these benefits, the new link will also help to address climate change by offering a safe, off road route to local employment areas, such as Brackmills, and further east to the Riverside and Crow Lane retail and industrial areas, as well as the surrounding residential areas. This will provide an opportunity to move away from environmentally unfriendly car usage, reduce pollution and congestion and offer the health benefits that walking and cycling offer.
Councillor Trini Crake, Portfolio Holder for the Environment said "I am delighted that the partnership between Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council and the River Nene Regional Park, is delivering projects that contribute to the wider vision to transform Northampton."
Michel Kerrou, Chief Executive of the River Nene Regional Park added "Securing the funding for the new bridge is a small but important step in raising Northampton's profile as the gateway to the Nene Valley, placing it at the heart of Northamptonshire."
The bridge will be open for use in September and support wider proposals for the enhancement of the area, improvements to the River Nene and Waterside and access to the Nene Valley.