Connecting communities

Our work isn't just about improving conditions for road users. Wherever we can, we take opportunities to connect people with amenities and each other.

A63 Castle Street, Hull

The existing at-grade layout of the A63 Castle Street carries 47,000 vehicles a day and is frequently congested. Our improvement will speed traffic by lowering the level of the A63, with split level junctions carrying traffic across it.

But traffic isn't our only concern. We need to create easier ways for the people of Hull to cross the A63 to the retail and waterfront areas to the south.

Completed in 2021, Murdoch's Connection footbridge is an important part of the A63 Castle Street improvement. It allows pedestrians, cyclists and disabled people to move freely across the A63.

It’ll help support the local economy by better linking the city centre to the waterfront, marina and fruit market areas of the town.

With its iconic design, it's a landmark piece of infrastructure and architecture for the city.

The bridge is named after Mary Murdoch, Hull's very first woman Doctor. Mary was also a suffragist and active campaigner for health and welfare. She established the City's first creche and school for mothers.

Mary was chosen as the bridge's namesake on the basis of a competition we ran with local secondary schools.

Over 100 pupils from Newlands School for Girls and Archbishop Sentamu Academy submitted essays nominating local figures who inspred them. The winner was chosen on by the public - with over 55,000 votes cast.

Commemorative granite panels on the bridge give the key details of Mary's life.

A63 Murdoch's Connection footbridge
The innovative footbridge shortly after installation
The commemorative sign - celebrating Hull's first woman doctor
The commemorative sign - celebrating Hull's first woman doctor

Keswick to Threlkeld railway trail

The Keswick to Threlkeld railway trail has been a popular walking and cycling trail for many years. It attracts around 110,000 visitors every year. It is an important transport link for local communities and also forms part of the Sustrans Sea-to-Sea (C2C) route.

In December 2015, Storm Desmond hit Cumbria in December 2015, destroying the trail.

Two of the original Victorian railway bridges crossing the River Greta were completely washed away along with around 200 metres of path. A third bridge was left unsafe and the well-used route between Keswick and Threlkeld was completely cut off.

As part of our ongoing active travel commitment, we were pleased to provide almost half of the £7.9 million needed to reconnect the trail. Other contributors included:

  • Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership Partnership
  • European Regional Development Funding
  • supportive individuals and businesses

Extensive reconstruction included:

  • rebuilding and repairing 5 kilometres of the trail
  • re-opening and extending the Bobbin Mill railway tunnel
  • building two new bridges and extensively repairing a third
  • created 200 metres of brand-new path
  • stabilising the riverbank along the route.
Cyclists enjoy the rebuilt Keswick trail
Cyclists enjoy the rebuilt Keswick trail

In 2020, the new, improved route opened for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and visitors to enjoy.

The rebuilt trail is now more resilient to future flooding - welcome news to locals and visitors. There are new picnic benches, seats and perches at viewpoints. Slopes and surfaces have all been designed for all levels of mobility.

"This has been the most ambitious construction project we’ve undertaken as a National Park Authority. It’s taken five years to complete due to the scale. I’d like to thank all of our funders and project partners for their input and the local community for their initial fundraising and for their patience whilst the work was ongoing. I very much look forward to using the trail and seeing others make use of this fantastic safe, local route which provides a sustainable transport link between Keswick and Threlkeld."
Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority

Recent research by Lake District National Park Authority shows around 90% of people who use the trail believe it has a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more:

The Keswick to Threlkeld railway trail (including route map)
The story of the reconstruction project