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Historic West Leeds footbridge to close for investigation

Newlay footbridge, connecting Bramley to Horsforth at the bottom of Pollard Lane and Newlay Lane, will be closed for a scour investigation, writes Jill Buckley.

The bridge will be closed from Monday, 24th July with work hopefully completed by Friday, 28th July. Work will be carried out between 8am and 5pm each day.

The work is part of the Leeds Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, carrying out ground investigation works to assess for scour risk. Scour risk is the risk of the risk of the bridge being damaged under water level by moving water.

Closed for work: Newlay Bridge in Bramley. Photo: Jill Buckley

Notices have been posted locally warning residents of the closure stating:

“Unfortunately due to the nature of the works we cannot safely maintain pedestrian access therefore the bridge will be closed for the duration of these works.”

It has caused some consternation on Facebook, with local residents suggesting that the dates could have been chosen better, as many use the bridge as a pedestrian commute to school.

Local resident Darren Hodgson said:

“Would be better if delayed by a single week as school will have closed #nocommonsense.”

One suggested a diversion for pedestrians would be to use Kirkstall Forge station footbridge further along.

The work involves the removal of the bollards and metal fence prior to the assessment and they will be replaced afterwards. It will involve the drilling of boreholes through the structure.

newlay bridge bramley
History: Newlay Bridge dates back to 1819, Photo: Jill Buckley

Newlay Bridge was built in 1819 by John Pollard to connect Whitecote to the Leeds/Horsforth turnpike. Pollards scribbling mill and weaving shed was on the south side of the river, the east side of Pollard Lane.

It is one of the oldest iron bridges in Yorkshire and became grade two listed in 1976. It closed to vehicular traffic in 1985.

Anyone with any questions should contact the Geotechnical Section of Highways Services at Leeds City Council on 0113 3787305. 


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