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Published on : Tuesday, November 5, 2013
A footbridge which links Portsmouth and Southsea has been refurbished and reopened to provide a safe route across the railway between Portsmouth and Southsea.The improvement work to Blackfriars Road was carried out by the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance as part of an ongoing commitment to improve the railway across the south and south west of England.
The bridge, also known as Jacobs Ladder, crosses the busy railway line which links Portsmouth with London. It has been decorated with a number of handprints from children from seven nearby schools*.The design for the new bridge’s appearance was agreed between the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, Portsmouth City Council and local schools and, as well as being a community-led project, has also helped to raise awareness of railway safety with local children.
The bridge is well used by children from seven local schools to cross the railway and is a key link between communities in Portsmouth and Southsea.It was formally opened on Monday 4 November by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg, and Ian Fry, route delivery director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg said: “I am delighted to join Network Rail in re-opening Blackfriars Bridge. Beautifully decorated by talented student artists from the local schools, this bridge now enables city school pupils once again to safely walk to their classes.”
Ian Fry, route delivery director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance said: “This bridge crosses a busy railway line, providing a safe link for pedestrians between Portsmouth and Southsea. It has unique artwork from one side to the other, created with local schools for the benefit of the local community. We are committed to improving the railway across our network and this refurbished bridge will serve local people for many decades to come.”Local children have been given a railway-themed information pack which included details about rail safety to help them and their friends stay safe when crossing or near the railway.