Mytholmroyd residents celebrated a significant improvement in pedestrian access to the town centre with the unveiling of a modern footbridge spanning the River Calder.

The footbridge, which officially opened to the public on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, was inaugurated by local businessperson Jo Ward of Jo’s Kitchen, situated adjacent to the bridge. Ward ceremoniously cut the ribbon, marking a momentous occasion for the community.

Funded by Calderdale Council, in collaboration with the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, the new footbridge replaces an older structure that had fallen into disrepair.

Constructed of concrete, glass, and steel, the state-of-the-art bridge boasts a waterproof, anti-slip surface, ensuring safety for pedestrians. Its design harmonises with the adjacent Grade II listed road bridge, blending modernity with heritage. Moreover, it has been intricately engineered to complement the Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Installation posed logistical challenges, with certain components requiring overnight crane operations to minimise disruption to the area.

Jackson Civil Engineering spearheaded the project, which forms a segment of the A646 / A6033 Corridor Improvement Programme (CIP). This comprehensive initiative, extending from Todmorden to Skircoat Moor in Halifax, aims to enhance pedestrian and cyclist facilities along the route. Additionally, it addresses longstanding congestion issues, particularly during peak hours, and seeks to improve punctuality for local bus services.

Further enhancements in Mytholmroyd include the establishment of a new route traversing Burnley Road Academy playing fields, and connecting Burnley Road with Rochdale Canal for pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users. Traffic restrictions have been implemented to safeguard several side road junctions, and a new bus shelter, adorned with a ‘green’ roof, has been erected at the New Road junction. Upon the installation of a new mains electrical supply, the shelter will incorporate real-time travel updates, facilitating commuter convenience.

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Active Travel and Housing, said; “Opening this great new footbridge is another milestone in delivering our priorities for Calderdale.

“We want to help people get active to protect their health and the environment – the bridge makes it easier, more pleasant and more sustainable to walk into Mytholmroyd. We want people to visit and invest in our towns and places to help them thrive and boost the economy – the bridge provides better links to all that the village has to offer, and builds on previous investments in Mytholmroyd such as the Flood Alleviation Scheme.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said; “It’s great to see the new footbridge open as part of a wide range of projects to improve walking and cycling facilities in Calderdale.

“In doing this, we’re encouraging more people to choose greener, more sustainable ways to travel around West Yorkshire.

“This work will help as we tackle the climate emergency and build a better-connected region that works for everyone.”

Jo Ward from Jo’s Kitchen added; “We are really excited for the footbridge to be opened! We have enjoyed watching the progress of the bridge and witnessing the hard work of the builders. The opening of the bridge has aligned with the café’s fourth birthday, so it’s celebrations all around and you can find out more about these on our social media. We are honoured to be a part of the reopening.”

The project has received funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.