WSP land contract to design Cambridgeshire suspension bridge

A new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire is to be designed by the engineering and professional services consultancy, WSP.

Based on a suspension bridge concept prepared by Knight Architects, the construction of the bridge in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, will offer a safer, traffic-free crossing of the River Great Ouse and be one of the few recent suspension footbridges in the UK.

The bridge itself will have a main span of circa 65m and the site in which the bridge will rest is within one of the most important vistas of St Neots and in proximity to the site of the St Neots Priory and The Maltings (kiln), which are two Scheduled Ancient Monument.

WSP will explore innovative use of materials for the bridge deck and parapets, in order to create a bridge fit for the future, which could potentially include looking at composite materials. 

Stephen Pottle, Highways sector lead at WSP, said: “We are thrilled to be appointed by Cambridgeshire County Council to design a landmark bridge that will enable better connectivity and growth for the town. With the site used for key events throughout the year, we will be carefully considering the site’s location throughout the entirety of the planning and preliminary design phase.”

Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s chair of the Economy and Environment committee, hopes the development will reduce the amount of people using their cars and promote a healthier lifestyle.

“The new foot and cycle bridge will link up key destinations in St Neots and make it easier and safer for walkers and cyclists to get around the town," Bates added. “The suspension bridge that WSP are designing will be elegant and environmentally considerate, which will work well at the chosen location. We want to encourage more people to get out of their cars – and this bridge will provide a safer, traffic-free route across the river, as well as improving infrastructure and bringing economic prosperity to the town.”

Planning application for the bridge is due to be submitted in 2019.

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