Date issued: 13 November 2019
Colchester Borough Council has commissioned a study to explore a new design for the zigzag footbridge linking the University of Essex campus to the Hythe student accommodation and town centre.
The work, to be carried out by Frankham Consultancy group and funded by an existing planning agreement, will look at ways to make the bridge more attractive to pedestrians, restricted mobility users and cyclists, as well as enhancing ease of access and faster travel, security and better lighting.
The design of the 20-year-old railway bridge currently makes it unsuitable for cyclists due to its narrowness, sharp bends and low safety rails, while approach ramps restrict access for some mobility scooters.
The study will also look at improving connections to the Wivenhoe Trail to boost travel to and from the university by pedestrians and cyclists.
Cllr Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture & Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “I’m delighted the council can support this work. A better-designed bridge will deliver an enhanced connection between the university, off-site student accommodation and the town centre, facilitating many more student visits and supporting the local economy.
“With the university expected to experience major growth in the next decade, a new bridge will encourage greener, more sustainable forms of travel, helping the borough meet emissions targets and encourage healthier lifestyles.”
Following consultation with relevant groups, funding options will be explored in early 2020.