A NEW plaque was unveiled on Scarborough Bridge today to mark its official opening.

Pupils from Clifton Green Primary School and St Barnabas CE Primary School were joined by several councillors to unveil the plaque which has marked the official opening of the £4.4m renovation.

The new bridge has been delivered by City of York Council in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through its CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER EP).

The new 65-metre-long bridge is three times as wide as the old footbridge at 3.7metres, increasing access to more people, and the new ramps and steps mean it is accessible even when the River Ouse is in flood.

More than 4,000 trips have been made on the new bridge every day since it reopened to the public in April – an extra 1,000 extra journeys per day compared to the old footbridge.

Members of the community were joined by Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council; Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council; Cllr Janet Looker, Lord Mayor of York; Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee; and David Dickson, Chair of YNYER EP Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said: “The opening of this new cycle and footbridge, delivered by City of Council with our partners, has significantly enhanced accessibility to the city centre for the thousands of local people who use it on a daily basis, not to mention visitors to the city, including those travelling to and from the hospital.

“Its successful completion is a fantastic example of partnership working, and its development represents a significant investment in the city’s infrastructure.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Transport, said: “As part of the drive to reduce congestion and improve air quality in York, we’re committed to improving and developing facilities for people travelling on foot or by bicycle. The opening of the new bridge is already playing an important role in these plans by improving connectivity between existing cycle routes and footpaths, making it easier than ever before for people to travel from A to B sustainably.”

Cllr Rachel Melly said: "The Scarborough Bridge is a new accessible link from areas of Holgate ward to the city centre and station. A plaque to mark the opening of the bridge was unveiled by Ruby, a pupil at St Barnabas school in the ward. However, to make the route really work for residents we need the gate into the station to remain open past 10.30pm so it can also be used as an accessible route to and from the station for people travelling later at night."

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the completion of the £4.4m Scarborough Bridge scheme in partnership with City of York Council and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.

“It’s fantastic to see that the new wider bridge is already being used for more and more trips each day."

Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “Backed by £1.5m of the Local Growth Fund, this significant investment in York’s infrastructure is providing an accessible, scenic, traffic-free route between the railway station and the city centre for pedestrians and cyclists, benefitting both residents and visitors to the city, and enhancing York’s position as a major tourist destination.”