CYCLE routes and footpaths around the new Scarborough Bridge in York will be upgraded after the council was awarded £300,000 for the works.

Under the plans, the pedestrian and bicycle crossing over Bootham will be improved to create a better route between the station and the hospital.

The cycle route alongside the river will also be upgraded and the steps from St Mary’s to Marygate Lane will be replaced with a ramp.

City of York Council said the new Scarborough Bridge, which opened on April 18, has already seen an extra 1,000 daily journeys compared to the old footbridge - taking it to more than 4,000 crossings a day.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport at the council, said: “It’s great to see the new Scarborough Bridge footbridge so well used and well-received, with residents and visitors taking immediate advantage of step-free, car-free routes through our city.

“We’re going to make this route even more accessible, with another £300,000 secured to improve the paths and a crossing over Bootham to link all the way to the hospital.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved with the construction of the bridge for their work over the past months, and all the local residents and regular users for bearing with us during this period.”

Work is still taking place to complete sections of the ramps, install a permanent handrail and install new lighting.

The steps to the riverside have now opened - but the final Yorkstone finish is due to be installed in the next two weeks.

The £4.4 million upgrade was funded by £1.9 million from the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, £1.5 million Local Growth Fund and £1 million of City of York Council funds. The 65 metre-long bridge is made from weathering steel – the same as Gateshead’s famous statue, The Angel of the North.

Cllr Kim Groves, chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see that this is already making a difference for people in York and those who are visiting the city, as shown by the significant increase in journeys being made over Scarborough Bridge.”

A council spokesman says the bridge is open to the public at all times but station access is closed from 10.30pm to 5.30am.