Thanks to £1.845m of funding, the new footbridge will avoid the need for pedestrians, non-road users, and passengers having to wait at the level crossing to cross the railway. In the past, there have been incidents of trespassing and misuse of the level crossing, which it is hoped the new footbridge will help reduce.
Construction is scheduled to start this Autumn, with completion and opening next Spring.
The footbridge will be designed and installed by contractor Taziker, and will be the first of its kind to be installed over the railway. The bridge structure will be preassembled and delivered in sections, which will allow it to be installed in days, without the need to close the railway and impact passenger services.
Constructed from Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) materials, the bridge is a light-weight, low-carbon structure that is highly durable and requires little or no maintenance. The design also provides for the future installation of lifts.
Accessibility to the station will also be improved during the project. A new accessible ramp will be constructed from the road to platform 2, providing fully accessibility to modern standards from the road for the first time. It will also enable passengers and station users with mobility needs to easily and safely access the station.
Additional improvements to the station include the installation of tactile paving on both platforms to further enhance the safety of the station and improve accessibility for people with a visual impairment.
Grenville Road level crossing is one of the main routes into and out of the town. It is crossed by the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Penzance. When trains are approaching or in the station, road users and pedestrians currently must wait at the level crossing for an average of 22 minutes an hour.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail Western route and strategic operations director, said:
“I am delighted that funding has been secured to enable us to install a footbridge over the railway at Lostwithiel.
“We have recognised there has not been an alternative method for safely crossing the railway for many of our pedestrians and non-road users who currently rely on the level crossing on Grenville Road.
“We are committed to continuing investing in the railway and surrounding infrastructure in Cornwall for the benefit of our passengers, residents, and local businesses and this new footbridge will significantly improve pedestrian mobility in and out of Lostwithiel while improving accessibility to the station itself. In parallel to the installation of the footbridge, we will continue to work with our partners to explore future funding options to support the installation of lifts.”
Sheryll Murray, Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall, said:
“I am delighted with this announcement which is a result of considerable investment by the Government into the Town of Lostwithiel. I have been working with Network Rail to secure this Bridge for many years after the inconvenience of crossing the main railway line was brought to my attention by the then Mayor Tim Hughes.
“I confirmed this through my Residents Survey where people said this was one of priorities. I appreciate the investment by the Department for Transport in ensuring funding for this bridge has become available which I know will be a considerable benefit to my Constituents.”
Councillor Philip Desmonde, cabinet portfolio holder for transport at Cornwall Council, said:
“We are pleased to be able to support the wishes of Lostwithiel residents in helping to fund the return of the bridge. This is a great example of our partnership with Network Rail and GWR to improve railway infrastructure for passengers and our communities.”
Councillor Colin Martin, Cornwall Council, said:
“A new footbridge across the railway will take the stress out of catching the train as residents will no longer have to worry about getting stuck on the wrong side of the barriers. It’s also great news for people simply wanting to walk from one side of town to the other. Best of all, the decision to use a heritage-style bridge will fit perfectly in our historic conservation area. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped, especially the Rail Users Group who came up with the idea in the first place.”
Karen Ross, Mayor of Lostwithiel, said:
“As Mayor of Lostwithiel I’m delighted that delivery of this footbridge, a long-awaited community asset is now imminent. Lostwithiel is very grateful to all project funders and members of the community for their hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”
Matt Barnes, Head of Strategic Service Development at Great Western Railway, said:
“A new footbridge at Lostwithiel will mark a significant improvement for our passengers who will be able to access the station easier than ever before and without the worry of needing to cross the line before the train arrives.
“We introduced an improved timetable in May 2019 that provided more services for Lostwithiel but has also increased the number of times the level crossing barriers need to be lowered, so it is great that the new footbridge will help to remove some of the issues that our passengers face.”
Matt Greenhalgh, Director of Technical Services and FRP Projects, Taziker, said:
“I was inspired to develop a cost-effective footbridge solution that could replace pedestrian crossings after learning about the difficulties the rail industry face, such as accessibility, disruption to passengers, and potential for accidents. Following extensive research and development, Taziker developed an FRP solution that gives the industry a durable, quick to install, sustainable option to make the railway infrastructure safer and more convenient, without the high costs of traditional options.
“I’m really excited to see the first Legacy Footbridge installed at Lostwithiel station and it will be great to see the community benefiting from this new, innovative structure!”