Skerne Bridge and John Street Heritage Area officially unveiled

Skerne Bridge and John Street Heritage Area officially unveiled

Official event to unveil the new heritage area at Skerne Bridge and John Street.

Wednesday 27th September 2017 

This morning saw the official unveiling of the new heritage area at Skerne Bridge by the Lord Lieutenant, Sue Snowdon.

The heritage area celebrates the historical relevance of Northgate in relation to the development of the railways and the significance of Darlington as a busy hub for commerce.

The event consisted of two official unveilings; the opening of the archway marking the entrance to the newly completed John Street cycle way and the unveiling of a Transport Trust Red Wheel Plaque.

The new archway marks the entrance to the new Northgate link of the Harrowgate Hill cycle route linking John Street to Albert Road, passing under the Skerne Rail Bridge.

The Red Wheel Plaque celebrates Skerne Bridge as the oldest railway bridge in the world still in use as such, and which featured on the old £5 note and was applied for by the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership. 

Skerne Bridge opening

Cllr Nick Wallis addressing the guests

Rob Shoreland-Ball (Transport Trust) at the unveiling of the Skerne Bridge Red Wheel Plaque

Rob Shoreland-Ball presenting a background to the Transport Trust Red Wheel project

 The Lord Lieutenant, Sue Snowdon and The Mayor Jan Taylor unveiling the Skerne Bridge Red Wheel Plaque  

The Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon and Mayor Jan Taylor unveiling the Red Wheel plaque

Councillor Nick Wallis, Cabinet member for Transport for Darlington Borough Council commented, “Skerne Bridge is one of the most important pieces of the fabric of the heritage of Darlington and I am so proud of the work which has gone into completing the cycle route and heritage area. Ever since the bridge gained national publicity through its appearance on the £5 note, years of hard work has been undertaken to open up the area surrounding the bridge to allow public access.

"The heritage area including Interpretation boards is a fitting celebration of Skerne Bridge and its history. The project has been a successful collaboration between Darlington Borough Council and The North Eastern Railway Association which enhances the newly completed walking and cycling route between John Street and Albert Road.  The improvements to the John Street cycle route offer a safe well-lit route for walkers and cyclists who travel into town from the north, the newly completed route also opens up opportunities for visitors arriving at North Road station to explore the history of the nearby ‘£5 note’ bridge on foot”.

The scheme is funded as part of Darlington’s Local Transport Plan, with funding from the Department for Transport. In addition funding has been provided from the Sustainable Access to Employment programme, funded as part of the Growth Deal secured by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Guests included representatives from the Transport Trust, ACoRP, Network Rail, The Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership, NERA, Friends of Darlington Railway Museum, Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, Darlington Borough Council, Durham County Council and the Tees Valley Combined Authority. 

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