Humber Bridge Board reveals £3m plan to raise walkway safety barriers

A £3m project is planned to raise the Humber Bridge's walkway barriers are to to increase safety and security for visitors and users.

The Humber Bridge Board has agreed the plans, which will see vertical steel posts with horizontal wire attached to existing barriers. These are intended to improve welfare for bridge visitors and users, without compromising on the bridge's spectacular views.

The barriers will be raised up to a height of 2.7m. The plan follows a feasibility study that began in 2019, before the pandemic.

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The study included rigorous testing of the proposed design to ensure it will have no detrimental impacts on the bridge, or on pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. It also had to take account of the Grade-I listed status of the bridge, which involved input from the local conservation teams and Historic England.

The proposed heightened barriers will require listed building consent from both North Lincolnshire and East Riding councils. The Humber Bridge Board is now set to submit the proposals to the councils. A £3m budget has been allocated to the project. This includes the removal of the old maintenance gantries.

Tolls will not be increased to pay for the works. It will be funded by the Bridge Maintenance Fund.

Visual of the proposed raised barriers on the Humber Bridge
Visual of the proposed raised barriers on the Humber Bridge -Credit:Humber Bridge Board

Cllr Richard Hannigan, chair of the Humber Bridge Board and deputy leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Raising the barriers on the Humber Bridge walkways has been the subject of debate for a long time. However, finding a solution that doesn’t detrimentally impact on the bridge has always been one of the major challenges.

"To overcome this, the Board launched a feasibility study into increasing the height of the existing barriers in 2019 and we’re delighted to report that process has been a success.

"The proposed design will provide a sturdy but lightweight extension that will increase the parapets to 2.7m without impacting on the integrity or performance of the bridge.

"It will not detract from the spectacular views along the Humber Estuary that the bridge affords, and we believe it meets the criteria set down by Historic England as a Grade One listed structure."

The Humber Bridge is set to see the height of walkway safety barriers raised
The Humber Bridge is set to see the height of walkway safety barriers raised -Credit:LDR

He added the changes would make the bridge safer for everyone who visits it. "The Humber Bridge Board believes everyone who uses the bridge, whether for commuting or leisure, should be able to do so in the safest possible environment," he said.

"Now we have found a workable solution to raising the walkway barriers, the Board wants to ensure this important work is carried out."