1,000 signatures reached
To: Preston City Council and Sir Mark Hendrick MP
Use the Levelling-Up Fund to reopen the Old Tram Bridge
It’s been two years since the Old Tram Bridge was closed and, in that time, we have seen no concrete plans by either Lancashire County Council or Preston City Council to reopen it.
Announced at the 2020 Spending Review, the Levelling Up Fund is specifically designed to invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. The fund aims to drive regeneration in places in need, those facing challenges, and areas that have received less government investment in recent years.
With both County and City Hall warning that unless external funding is found, the bridge will remain closed, it is imperative the Old Tram Bridge forms part of Preston City Council’s bid to secure resources through the Levelling Up Fund.
Indeed, the Levelling Up Fund presents the best chance to finally reopen this piece of infrastructure, which is an important part of our local travel network connecting commuters and the communities of Preston and South Ribble.
As local residents and visitors of Preston, we were very disappointed to learn that one round to bid for these funds has already passed with no plan put forward by either authority.
However, we understand Preston City Council could still be awarded up to £20m in the second round to invest in projects such as the Old Tram Bridge that could, in turn, see approximately £7m of investment in the city supporting local jobs and businesses.
The alternative is condemning the bridge to serve as a derelict eyesore, falling into greater disrepair and causing harm to our local environment.
As the city recovers from the unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is incumbent on Preston City Council to prioritise plans and investment that not only brings economic benefits, but also helps bind our communities together and restores pride in our local area.
With the backing of Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council needs to secure the future interests of residents and the wider Preston community by submitting plans to reopen the Old Tram Bridge and maintain this important pedestrian and cycle route into the city.
This petition calls on both Preston City Council to submit a bid to the second round of the Levelling-Up Fund to reopen the Old Tram Bridge, either through repairs or a complete rebuild, projected to cost in the region of £7 million.
The petition also calls on Sir Mark Hendrick, Preston’s Member of Parliament, to sponsor the bid.
Why is this important?
The Old Tram Bridge is an important pedestrian and cycle route into Preston. It is well used, providing a link to the footpath network based around the old railways and the Lancaster Canal tramroad.
Many people have fond memories of the bridge, which has evolved from its original purpose as part of the canal, to being the much-loved structure that it is today.
Given that walking and cycling to work are far greener than using a car or even public transport, it would be foolhardy to remove this vital link in the network of pathways to the south of Preston.
How it will be delivered
In person to Preston City Council, Sir Mark Hendrick MP, and Minister Luke Hall.