The opening of the new railway footbridge over the Midland Main Line will give visitors and local people much improved access to the magnificent 19th century wrought iron Bennerley Viaduct. The footpath from the Erewash Canal to the viaduct is now open, enabling visitors to access and appreciate the longest wrought iron viaduct in the British Isles.
The new footbridge was formally opened on Thursday June 7th by Maggie Throup, the Member of Parliament for Erewash at an opening event organised by the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct. The Erewash MP is a keen supporter of the project to restore and reopen Bennerley Viaduct.
“Bennerley Viaduct is an iconic structure which defines our area locally and is something which I am passionate about protecting for future generations. I am therefore delighted with the installation of the new footbridge over the Midland Main Line, which will allow more people to access and view the Viaduct safely.”
Jeff Wynch, chair of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct said:
“The new footbridge is a modern, well designed 21st century structure which complements its 19th century neighbour. The new footbridge provides an excellent vantage point to see the nationally important viaduct. It will be appreciated by the growing numbers of visitors who come to enjoy the area’s rich industrial and natural heritage.”
In addition to installing the new footbridge, the contractors, gave the Bennerley Viaduct Project a huge helping hand by removing old tree stumps and flytipped material from underneath the viaduct.
Jeff Wynch added:
“We would like to extend a huge thank you to Network Rail for the new footbridge and also for the environmental enhancements that they have made underneath the viaduct which is of great benefit to our community”.
David McMahon, Network Rail Programme Manager, said:
“We’re delighted to have completed work to install a new footbridge at Bennerley Viaduct, and we look forward to the local community reaping the benefits.
“The new footbridge will not only provide safe access over the railway, it will also improve access to the Grade II* listed structure and we are delighted to have worked closely with local stakeholders on the project.
“We’ve also removed fly-tipping from the area which will create a more welcoming and pleasant environment for visitors.”
Sam Smith, Project Manager for the main contractors, AmcoGiffen said:
“We’re proud to have been part of such a fantastic project. AmcoGiffen couldn’t be happier with the result.”