New bridges

Two new bridges are proposed. The East Coast Mainline Bridge will be a statement structure as a gateway to York Central. The other, Water End Foot and Cycle Bridge, will be more modest in character, creating a segregated cycle and pedestrian route adjacent to the existing Water End Road Bridge.

Design principles and proposals

East Coast Mainline Bridge

The ECML bridge will have a main span of 71m and a width of 17m, and host a two lane road, segregated paths for pedestrians and cyclists on the eastern pavement and a dedicated pedestrian route on the western one. A bridge design has been selected that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists and their user experience by giving them separate space and open views. The rejected design contained all users in a single space with no open views. Since previous design stages, the main span and skew of the bridge have been reduced, its height over the railway tracks lowered, and the main material changed from stainless steel to weathering steel (similar to Scarborough Bridge).

Key Principles

1. The ECML bridge will set the tone for York Central as one of the first elements to be built, and physically as the main access point to York Central. The bridge will be a statement structure that acts as a gateway to the new development.

2. The bridge design has an elegance which respects the scale, architectural and townscape context of the existing city and the future development. It preserves existing views of York Minster, creates new views across the city and forms a pleasing background for views from the existing nearby neighbourhoods. It will also establish new views of the railway environment.

3. The new bridge will be part of the main street of York Central, Park Street, which will be a high-quality urban environment and experience.

4. The bridge has been designed as a natural addition to the family of York bridges, all of them arches, rigid frames or beams. The ECML bridge is a combination of all these types from a geometric and structural point of view. Its form, made up of from slender longitudinal elements, pays tribute to the layout of the Grade II listed Ouse Bridge and Skeldergate Bridge, two of the most representative and historically important bridges of York. The bridge will prioritise the experience of pedestrians and cyclists, whilst providing appropriate vehicular access for buses and cars.

5. The use of weathering steel references York’s railway heritage and similar materials used in the new Scarborough Bridge foot and cycle way

6. The bridge has been designed to be an appropriate solution from a construction and maintenance point of view, acknowledging that it will be located over the East Coast Main Line. Weathering steel requires minimal maintenance and the design allows it to be constructed offsite and then moved into position.

Water End Foot and Cycle Bridge

The Water End Foot and Cycle Bridge will be a weathering steel structure, constructed alongside the existing bridge with a main span of 52m and a shared space 4m wide for use by pedestrians and cyclists kept entirely separate from the traffic. Its main structural element will face the nearby concrete impact barrier of the existing bridge, in order to allow the opposite outward-facing edge to be slender and transparent, giving the opportunity for cyclists and pedestrians to have views of the Minster, the railway environment and the new development. The bridge is sympatheticto the suburban backdrop and will not be a prominent part of the cityscape. Construction will be carefully managed in relation to the East Coast Main Line.

It’s a partnership between four bodies – Network Rail, the Homes & Communities Agency, City of York Council and the National Railway Museum – who between them own the land that forms York Central.

Our role is to create the masterplan for the site and to manage the subsequent delivery of all development.

A masterplan is the beginning of a process. It is a flexible framework, built on strong principles that will guide future development and help to safeguard quality and site heritage. It is not a fixed plan for the final buildings which will be constructed, but will establish the criteria that investors and developers must satisfy if they wish to put forward plans, ensuring that any future development is right for the city.

What the masterplan will decide is a preferred access option, the basic infrastructure and layout, public realm, how the site will link to each other and surrounding neighbourhoods, an agreed mix of development for the site (residential/ leisure/ commercial), together with guidance on where the mix might be flexible, maximum building height and massing guidelines.

There will be a public consultation process around the masterplan in January 2018. We will be announcing further details of the consultation in due course.