Station to Central Park bridge
Proposals for high level cycling and walking bridge between North Cross and Central Park were included in Plymouth’s Transforming Cities –tranche 2 bid. First suggested by a cyclist in 1999, PCyC revived the proposal in 2016, arguing that the massive increase in road congestion, together with the increase in numbers cycling, now justifies it more than ever.
Bid outcomes were announced in March 2020 with Plymouth granted £51M of which £36M was specified for the bridge. Subsequently PCC has decided to spend all of the £51M on a wider range of projects designed to encourage walking, cycling and public transport. https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/transportplansandprojects/transportplans/transformingcitiesfund
PCC hope to build the bridge with future funding and Plymouth Cycling Campaign will continue to promote it.
This will link the busy centre of Plymouth with the ‘green lung’ of Central Park and provide a commuting and recreational route for a wide spread of residential areas.
Walking and cycling to the North from Plymouth City Centre is currently unattractive, made difficult by the main railway line, station buildings and a steep sided valley, through which runs Central Park Avenue. Current plans to help travel in this direction are indirect and fragmented.
A bridge from North Cross to the lower slopes of Central Park would overcome these problems, forming a link between the city centre and the extensive open space of the park, the Life Centre, Home Park and other recreational opportunities. It would also provide a viable route to walk or cycle into the centre from many city neighbourhoods and points beyond to the North and East of the city.
The timing for this link is now right; the demand for cycling and walking in the city is increasing fast, held back by poor roads.
Plans are being developed for the radical redevelopment the railway station, potentially lifting the entrance up to the level of North Cross. The proposed bridge will fit into this vision, providing much better links to the city from the station.
What will it do for Plymouth?
It could be a stylish, slender piece of civil engineering, a statement of Plymouth’s vision and future. People arriving in Plymouth by train will be met not by busy traffic and hilly backstreets, but a feature uniting the commercial hub of the city centre with its suburbs via the recreation of the acres of parkland.
Commuters and shoppers from large residential parts of the city would have good walking and cycling access to the centre and station via Central Park.
The Park and Ride near Home Park would gain integrated links to the centre; people could park and walk or park and cycle to where they need to be.
The Life Centre, other Central Park sports facilities and green open space would only be a short walk or ride for University students and staff as well as city workers and Plymouth Station residents.
This could form part of a cycle route to the North of the city to Derriford and beyond, avoiding the high traffic routes through Mutley or Outland Rd. The Southern area of the park is relatively underused. This new access to public open space and fine views of the city would make improvements to this area of the park far more viable.
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