New footbridge to Freeport now open

THE new footbridge at Braintree Freeport station was officially opened today by Cllr David Finch, deputy leader of Essex County Council and Cllr Lady Patricia Newton, cabinet member for planning and poroperty at Braintree District Council.

The footbridge, which spans the Braintree to Witham railway line, enables residents of the Heathlands residential estate and beyond to take a short walk or cycle ride to the Freeport Shopping Village and railway station.

Braintree District Council has contributed �514,000 towards the scheme from Section 106 and Growth Area Funding, with �458,000 contributed by Essex Council and the remaining funding coming from other Section 106 contributions.

Work on the scheme started in May 2012, with measures taken to minimise disruption to the shopping village while construction took place. Steps were also taken to mitigate the impact of the scheme on local residents. The contractor for the scheme was Walker Construction UK Ltd.

Cllr Lady Patricia Newton, said: “We have invested over �500,000 in this project which will make such a big difference to the residents of Heathlands and the surrounding areas. Now residents will be able to leave their cars at home and take a short walk or cycle ride to Braintree Freeport railway station, Freeport shopping village and the nearby sport and leisure facilities. It will mean healthier lifestyles and greener travelling for many more residents in the district.”

She added: “More than anything this project has been about partnership and I would like to thank Essex County Council for their design and project management work which they undertook to bring this scheme to fruition.”

Essex County Councillor Derrick Louis, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation said: “I am very pleased that the new footbridge at Braintree Freeport station is now open. This will improve access to the station and lead to quicker and easier journeys for commuters.”