IT is 20 years ago that York enjoyed a new bridge across the Ouse.

For the Millennium Bridge did not open in 2000 but in April 2001.

Today, we look back at that historic moment which united two communities in York and has been enjoyed by thousands of citizens daily ever since.

Our pictures today show the bridge under construction from late 1999 onwards as well as the official opening on April 10, 2001.

York Press:

Millennium Bridge under construction

On opening day, residents from the Fulford Road and Fishergate area met up on the crossing with their counterparts from the South Bank and Bishopthorpe Road district.

And children from Fishergate Primary School and Knavesmire Primary School waved flags and exchanged big greetings cards to celebrate a new and growing link between the schools.

At the time, Fishergate deputy head teacher Kate Elliot said children from Knavesmire had visited Fishergate last year as part of a communications project, coming round the long way via Skeldergate Bridge.

She said Fishergate pupils would pay a return visit to the South Bank school using the new bridge.

"It has opened up new opportunities," she said. "It's going to open up new links."

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Mothers who came with their children to the opening ceremony welcomed the chance to go on circular walks and bike rides along the riverside, and to get quickly to Rowntree Park.

"It will be very handy for people to get across to the park," said Sheila Steele, of Navigation Road, off Walmgate, who attended the ceremony with her seven-year-old daughter, Sophie Stockton.

York Press:

People pack on to the new bridge on opening day in April 2001

The new crossing meant commuters and students could also get to their workplace, colleges and schools more easily. People living on the Fulford Road side could now enjoy a quick crossing to York College, the racecourse and Terry's.

Residents from the other side could also get quickly to the university, Imphal barracks, the police station and various factory units in the Hospital Fields Road area.

Cyclists on the national cycling network operated by Sustrans could also use the bridge which allowed the Fulford area of York to connect with not only South Bank but also across Knavesmire to Holgate and Acomb.

What are your memories of the Millennium Bridge and how do you use it? Share your stories and photos with readers via the Send Now button below.