Bridging the gap in Brompton-on-Swale

A new walking and cycling bridge across the River Swale in North Yorkshire has provided local people with vital rural links
The challenge

The village of Brompton-on-Swale suffers, like many other rural locations, from very busy and narrow roads with inadequate footways. This, combined with infrequent bus services, made it almost impossible for anyone except the most experienced cyclist to make everyday journeys without a car. The footway on the old stone bridge across the River Swale was narrow and only available on one side. There was also a dangerous crossing to the south of the bridge. Local people campaigned for many years to address the problem.

The solution

Parents are naturally worried about their children’s safety on busy roads. New routes like the Catterick Bridge give youngsters the opportunity to do healthy activities, such as cycling and horse riding, in a safe environment.

- Melva Steckles

To avoid the busy roads and the dangerous junction, Sustrans brought a disused railway bridge back into use and transformed it into a brand new traffic-free crossing over the River Swale. The bridge previously had no deck and needed new fencing to make it safe. A new wooden insert was put onto the bridge and gentle, tarmaced approach ramps were installed to make the bridge accessible to everyone.

The difference

The bridge, which was opened by William Hague MP in October 2012, provides a safe and quick alternative to the busy and dangerous roads in the area. It is already proving popular with the community and is encouraging more people to start walking and cycling - 1 in 5 people are using it on a daily basis. As the route links to Catterick Garrison and other walking and cycling routes into Richmond, many people are using it to get to work.

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