Railway children help to refurbish well-used bridge

OPENING Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lynne Stagg, third from right, with school children at the the Blackfriars Road footbridge
OPENING Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lynne Stagg, third from right, with school children at the the Blackfriars Road footbridge

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schoolchildren have made their mark on a revamped city footbridge.

The bridge, which links Bridport Street, near Commercial Road, and Blackfriars Road in Somers Town, has been decorated with handprints from pupils at seven schools.

The bridge, also known as Jacobs Ladder, cosses the busy railway line which links Portsmouth with London.

Children from Arundel Court Juniors, Charles Dickens Juniors, Cottage Grove Primary, Meon Junior and Infants, Somers Park Primary, St George’s Beneficial Church of England Primary, and St Jude’s CoE Primary took part in the project.

The design was agreed between the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, Portsmouth City Council and the schools and, as well as being a community project, has also helped to raise awareness of railway safety.

It was formally opened yesterday by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lynne Stagg, and Ian Fry, route delivery director for the alliance.

Cllr Stagg said: ‘I’m 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.’

Mr Fry added: ‘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 schools for the benefit of the community.

‘We are committed to improving the railway across our network and this refurbished bridge will serve local people for many decades to come.’

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 region.