THE old pedestrian and cycle section of York’s Scarborough Bridge has been removed by rail crane.

The work was carried out overnight between Saturday and Sunday while no trains were running.

The old footbridge - which was used by 3,000 people daily - is set to be replaced with a new pedestrian and cycle bridge as part of a £4 million upgrade.

The new bridge will be lifted into place by crane from the railway track in two separate phases using two further overnight lifts in the coming weeks.

City of York Council has said the old bridge had access issues from steep stairs limiting the amount of people who could use it.

The new bridge is scheduled to be complete and open to the public next month and will offer step-free access with ramps as well as new external steps leading to the riverside paths.

On the southern side a new path on the top of the embankment will mean that users can travel directly between York Station and the new bridge.

The council’s executive member for transport and planning, Cllr Peter Dew, said: “We’ve made fantastic progress to replace the Scarborough Bridge footbridge. This will open up this area to many more people thanks to the easy accessibility of the new bridge."

Wigginton Road was closed on Saturday night and early Sunday morning at the rail level crossing while the work was carried out.

Cllr Dew added: "I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding, and reassure them that we are working to keep this disruption to a minimum.”

The old footbridge was 1.3 metres wide. The new pedestrian and cycle bridge will be 3.7 metres wide.

The project has been part-funded by a £1.9 million grant from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through its CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot.

Cllr Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working with City of York Council and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership on this important project, which will provide much-needed access improvements between the train station and city centre.

“We know encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individual’s money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.”

The new bridge will be accessible even when the river is in flood. It will also be lit and covered by CCTV.