Plans for a new pedestrian footbridge to replace Barnsley’s town centre railway crossing have been approved by councillors – who dismissed a complaint raised by a cycle club that riders will have to dismount to use it.
The bridge should now be in place for when Network Rail decommission Jumble Lane crossing in the Spring of next year and its distinctive design means it is likely to become a landmark feature of wider town centre developments.
However, councillors on Barnsley Council’s planning board were told a cycle club had raised an objection to the design because it lacks the ramps which would have allowed riders to use it without dismounting.
But that concern was dismissed on the grounds that opening up the bridge to cyclists would also make it usable by skateboarders and what board chairman Coun Doug Birkinshaw described as “maniac kids”.
Coun Sarah Tattersall told the meeting: “We have had no complaints from people in wheelchairs and no complaints from mother and toddler groups.
“I don’t see so many cyclists in Barnsley. If they have to dismount, they have to dismount,” she said.
The bridge is costing more than £4m with Network Rail bearing part of the cost and the rest of the bill being paid by Barnsley Council.
The rail crossing has been assessed as one of the most dangerous in the country by Network Rail and they planned to close it in the Spring regardless of whether an alternative crossing was in place.