£3.4million is due to be spent on a new bridge and improved walkways to connect existing communities with Ebbsfleet Garden City.
The investment will be spent on pedestrian and cycle links around Northfleet, including replacing a pedestrian bridge at Church Path Pit and improving the path from Granby Road to the riverside. New routes will also be created from Northfleet to Ebbsfleet International Station.
All these changes are expected to be made over the next two years, with the Granby Road route being one of the first projects. The route will be resurfaced and improved with lighting, creating a safer walk for residents down to the riverside and for people who work on the industrial areas around Crete Hall Road to walk to work from Northfleet.
Church Pit Path, a 60ft high bridge, will be replaced with a modern, wider bridge, and the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) is asking the public for design ideas.
No Walls Gardens, a community interest company in Northfleet, has already had volunteers improving the routes either side of the bridge.
Director Gary May said: “We’ve been working very closely with EDC and we’re pleased that Northfleet and, in particular, the Church Path Pit bridge will now see some enormous benefits.
“That bridge is a lifeline to many but in its current state can be a daunting experience.
“To have it replaced will be fantastic and for the community to have their say on how it could look is a bonus.”
The bridge is the second to be approved for the area, after a £12 million pedestrian and vehicle bridge linking Springhead Park with the high speed station was approved in July.
A new primary school in Eastern Quarry was also approved in March, which is now under construction and will open to pupils in September 2017.
Paul Spooner, the EDC’s interim chief executive, said: “A well-connected garden city is vital to its success and with our programme of improvements, approved by government; we will start to see the real signs of how we will connect existing and new communities.
“These projects will ensure Northfleet residents not only have safer, more attractive routes to walk, but also give them direct access to Ebbsfleet International Station and the rest of the garden city.”
There are seven developers on the garden city site, creating 860 homes. Once complete, it is anticipated there will be 15,000.
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