Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Bridging the future: bridleway bridge officially opens in Biggleswade

Thursday, 2 May 2024

Biggleswade’s residents and visitors now have a safer way to cross the East Coast Main Line thanks to a new bridleway bridge at Lindsells Level Crossing.

Construction of the bridge began in December 2023. Its opening marks another milestone for investment in the town, made possible by the council’s successful bid for £70 million from the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

This funding is being used to develop the infrastructure and facilities needed to support Biggleswade’s growth, including:

  • additional school places
  • a new transport interchange at Biggleswade train station
  • an electrical substation providing upgraded power capacity

The fully accessible bridleway bridge allows walkers, horse riders, cyclists and others on wheels to safely cross the railway line, providing better access and connectivity for the community, and promoting active and sustainable travel.

Rising eight metres above the track with ramps approximately 185 metres long on each side, it now serves as a vital link for Biggleswade’s Green Wheel, a walking and cycling route around the outskirts of the town.

There are 4 tracks at Lindsells which carry over 300 trains per day travelling at speeds of up to 125mph. The bridleway bridge removes the need for users to cross the railway line, improving safety for users as well as to train crew and train passengers. In the last 3 years there have been 4 “near misses” at the crossing, defined as when a driver has to apply their emergency brake.

The bridge was officially opened by Paul Mason, our Chief Officer for Infrastructure Delivery; Councillor Mark Foster, Mayor of Biggleswade Town Council; and Louise Cox, Head of Route Safety, Health and Environment for Network Rail. Members of the Network Rail project team, who initiated and led on the bridge’s construction, were also there to mark the opening.

Councillor Hayley Whitaker, Central Bedfordshire’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Families Education and Children said:

The new bridge is a welcome addition to the town and a key element of the ‘Biggleswade Green Wheel’, that connects the town with its green spaces and making it safer for people to get outside and enjoy the countryside.

Louise Cox, Head of Route Safety, Health, and Environment for Network Rail said:

We’re thrilled to see this new bridleway bridge open which will provide a safe route across the busy East Coast Main Line for local people.

At Network Rail, keeping people safe on and around the railway is at the heart of everything we do, and it has been great to work with local stakeholders to deliver this project which will meet our values.

Biggleswade cannot support further housing and commercial growth without significant infrastructure investment. As part of our 2050 Vision, as well as other corporate strategies and priorities, we are committed to bringing in investment into Biggleswade to enhance communities and ensure our residents and businesses share in the benefits of growth, whilst working to protect and enhance Central Bedfordshire’s assets. Lindsells Crossing Bridleway Bridge is a part of wider investment in infrastructure funded by Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Find out more about what's happening in Biggleswade.