Elland footbridge costing £500,000 to open today

Yorkshire flood envoy Robert Goodwill MP and Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker (right) survey damage to Elland Bridge caused by the Boxing Day floods.  18 january 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Yorkshire flood envoy Robert Goodwill MP and Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker (right) survey damage to Elland Bridge caused by the Boxing Day floods. 18 january 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

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A temporary footbridge will provide access to Elland after a historic crossing was damaged in the floods will open later today (Friday).

The opening comes on the back of the announcement that Elland Bridge will be rebuilt at a cost to the tune of £5m.

New foot bridge under construction at Elland.

New foot bridge under construction at Elland.

Ministerial Flood Recovery Envoy for Yorkshire Robert Goodwill said up to £5.5m in repair funds would be available and a temporary foot bridge nearby.

The cash boost follows structural assessments by specialist engineers at the site.

Around £500,000 for the temporary footbridge has also been set aside and work has been carried out throughout the week to install it. Engineers hope the bridge will be open after 4pm.

Mr Goodwill said: “We are determined to help the hardworking families and businesses of Yorkshire get back on their feet as soon as possible after these devastating floods. A good local transport system is the lifeblood of the region, and key to a thriving economy.

“I am pleased to announce we are providing a further £5.5 million to restore this important crossing and construct the temporary footbridge.

“This is an important step in keeping the recovery effort on track in Yorkshire and illustrates how the government is standing shoulder to shoulder with the hard-working Elland community as they recover from the floods.”

The government and Calderdale Council have worked together on the plans for Elland Bridge.

Leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift said: “The Boxing Day floods have had a devastating impact on homes and businesses across Calderdale.

“I welcome this announcement as it allows us to replace the damaged bridge at Elland, given its strategic importance to the local community, for local businesses and for tourism.

“We are continuing discussions with government about further assistance they can provide to enable Calderdale to recover following this event.”

The government has invested nearly £200m in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond, with £50m to repair and improve flood defences since Storm Eva, the Department of Transport said.

Money pledged to Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumberland after Storm Desmond earlier in the month included £60m for communities and local authorities; and £1m in matched funding for charities.

Pledges so far in response to Storm Eva are at least £50m for communities and local authorities, £40mfor flood defences and £2m in matched funding for charity flood appeals for affected areas.

The government is now working closely with other affected authorities as they determine the level of damage caused following Eva and Storm Frank.