New £15 million bridge over the M1 in Leicestershire opens

Article Posted on: July 14, 2017

new-leicester-bridge

The first cars have crossed a new bridge over the M1 built to improve access to a £1 billion housing development.

The £15 million bridge links the site of the 4,250 home Lubbesthorpe estate, near Leicester Forest East, to Leicester.

Civic dignitaries, highways officials and members of the Drummond family, which owns the development land, gathered to for a ceremony to declare the motorway crossing open.

The bridge itself has been named Fred’s Bridge in memory of Fred Drummond who worked on the Lubbesthorpe scheme but passed away in August 2015 before he saw any of the new homes built.

Leicestershire County Council’s transport director Phil Crossland and cabinet member for highways Blake Pain were the first to cross the bridge after a ribbon was cut on the route, in a convertible Mazda MX-5, followed by a convoy of guests.

Mr Crossland said the bridge project was funded with £5 million of Department and Transport cash and a £9.5 million loan from the Homes and Communities Agency to the ERB Drummond Trust which is behind the scheme.

Coun Pain said the Government had set down a challenge to councils to provide land for one million new homes and the bridge was a demonstration of how public authorities and private developers could collaborate to provide much needed new housing.

He told the Leicester Mercury: “This is a serious piece of infrastructure and a very complicated project.

“It is not every day that bridges over major motorways open. It will obviously serve the new Lubbesthorpe development but it will also relieve pressure on other bridges crossing the M1 in the area. I want to thank the members of the highways department who have worked very hard on bringing it about. Many other people have been involved and credit is due to them too.”

Martin Ward, of Mather Jamie, is a trustee of the Drummond Trust and family friend.

He said: “Wow, we’ve finally got here. Thirty years ago we had a plan that one day we would reach the motorway. We have finally done it. The biggest regret is Fred is not with us to enjoy this day but great thanks to the Drummond family who have been very supportive of the whole project all the way through. It’s been a battle, raising £40 million to build the infrastructure was no easy task- it took us 12 months, we got there.

“Thanks to everybody from the councils (Leicestershire County and Blaby District). It has been a great project to work together on.”

The Lubbesthorpe scheme has proved controversial with opponents lamenting the loss of open countryside within the 1,000-acre site as well as fearing the traffic impact of all the new cars associated with the homes that are being built.

So far several dozen homes have been built and the developers say there is considerable interest from buyers.

Howev, r it will take some 20 years to complete the full scheme.

It will include warehousing, industrial and office units, roads, sewage, electricity, mains water and gas systems, and could go beyond the billion pound figure when everything is totted up.

The plans include a 420-place primary school as part of the landowner’s section 106 planning obligations, which could be open for September 2019.

 

Source: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/new-15-million-bridge-over-the-m1-in-leicestershire-opens-to-traffic/story-30439146-detail/story.html#sjJl4zx4gp3jqYYT.99

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