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Footbridge to be closed in preparation for dismantling

Published on 12 August 2015

A FOOTBRIDGE in Leicester city centre is being closed in preparation for being taken down.

Harvey Walk footbridge, which spans St Nicholas Circle, will be dismantled in September and will close to the public from Wednesday 12 August so that preparation work can take place.

The bridge – which runs between the Holiday Inn and the NCP car park – is under-used and in poor repair. Plans are being drawn up to replace the bridge with a surface-level crossing route next year, with new signal-controlled pedestrian crossings on the north and south sides of St Nicholas Circle.

The work is part of the city council’s Connecting Leicester scheme, which will bring £1.7million of improvements to this part of the city, including the new cycle lanes and footpaths which have already been created on the Castle Gardens side of St Nicholas Circle.

The city council is working closely with the Holiday Inn and NCP on the scheme, with NCP appointing the demolition contractors and helping to pay for the dismantling work to be carried out.

The work will cost approximately £175,000. NCP will pay around a third of the costs of the dismantling work, with the city council paying the rest.

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Connecting Leicester is about creating better links between important heritage sites like Jewry Wall and the city centre. It’s about using street scene improvements to ensure we make the most of the many assets that this city has.

“As part of this, I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to invest in the area around St Nicholas Circle and that we’re able to work with the Holiday Inn and NCP to remove what is a very outdated and under-used bridge – as well as being something of an eyesore. These changes to the area should improve things for everyone.”

Brian Devonshire, Head of Operations at NCP said: “We’re pleased to be leading on this work with the city council. Removing the bridge will improve access to our car park, which we know is important for our customers, and enhance this area of Leicester.

“Closing the bridge before its removal will also allow us to clean and improve the area and undertake repair work to our car park that is best carried out while the bridge is still in place, but not open for public use.”

Lynda Coaley, general manager at the Holiday Inn, said: “We're fully supportive of these improvements and we’re pleased with the timing of this work, which will mean the minimum of disruption to our customers. 

“We have seen an increase in the number of guests staying with us, particularly with the recent improvements that have been carried out around the King Richard III visitor centre, and these proposals will help improve the accessibility of our hotel from the city centre.”

The work will require overnight closures, which will take place on the nights of Sunday 13 September and Sunday 20 September.

It will also include supporting pillars being removed from inside the grounds of Jewry Wall Museum, although the museum will not be affected by the work.  

Local businesses and residents have been told about the plans, and notices have gone up in the area to inform members of the public of the bridge’s closure.