Laira Bridge

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East of Plymouth Lines
Yealmpton
Steer Point
Brixton
Elburton Cross
Turnchapel
Billacombe
Oreston
Plymstock
Laira Bridge
over River Plym
Laira Bridge prior to refurbishment

Laira Bridge is a disused railway bridge that crosses the River Plym in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. It is currently being refurbished to carry a pedestrian and cycle path.

The name is also used to refer to the road bridge that runs alongside and carries the A379 road.[1]

History[edit]

The bridge carried the London and South Western Railway branch to Turnchapel over the River Plym in Devon. Later the Great Western Railway also had running powers over the bridge providing access to their Yealmpton branch at Plymstock. The bridge was built by Messrs Relf and Pethick after being authorised by an act of parliament in 1883. It was completed by 1887, and was opened in July 1892.

Passenger trains ceased to use it when the passenger services to Turnchapel and Yealmpton were terminated in the 1950s but the bridge remained in use to serve the Associated Portland Cement works. It finally closed to traffic in the 1990s.[2]

Refurbishment as a cycle and pedestrian bridge[edit]

The bridge is currently in the process of being restored at a cost of £3.5 million in order to turn it into a cycle and pedestrian pathway and is due to be completed by Spring 2015.[3] The path will link into existing footpaths and cycleways including Route 27 of the National Cycle Network. The bridge will link existing off road cycle paths which join Devonport and Stonehouse in the west to Plymstock and Plympton in the east.[4] Funding came from a number of sources including a £750,000 developer contribution from the Saltram Meadow development[5] and from the government's local sustainable transport fund.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laira Bridge at the Wayback Machine (archived April 13, 2014)
  2. ^ "Laira Bridge". Our Transport Heritage. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  3. ^ Applin, Laura. "PICTURES: Rusty old Laira Rail Bridge being transformed into cycle route". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Laira Rail Bridge Pedestrian and Cycle Scheme". Plymouth City Council Website. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  5. ^ Rossiter, Keith (January 13, 2014). "Cyclists set to get green light on Laira Bridge". Plymouth Herlad. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Plymouth's Laira Bridge to become new cycling route". BBC News website. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 

Coordinates: 50°22′09″N 4°06′30″W / 50.36909°N 4.10845°W / 50.36909; -4.10845