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Reviving Pride: Sustrans Grant Breathes New Life into Leith’s Rainbow Bridge

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The preservation of Leith’s cherished Lindsay Road Bridge, also recognized as Pride Bridge, has advanced a significant step forward, courtesy of a funding grant from the Sustrans’ Places for Everyone initiative.

The 1930s bridge, originally built for vehicular traffic, was closed off to motor vehicles in 2008 and has since served as a key walking, wheeling, and cycling route over Hawthornvale Path. In 2021 community members painted the bridge in rainbow colours, leading to it being named locally as the ‘Rainbow’ or ‘Pride’ Bridge.

In December 2021 the bridge, which is at the end of its lifespan, was closed due to concerns about health and safety.

Council officers have since made a successful application for Transport Scotland funding through Sustrans for the design of a replacement bridge deck, with £232,700 awarded. A designer will now be appointed to progress the design, to be developed in consultation with stakeholders and the community.

This process is expected to last a year and, once it’s complete, officers intend to apply to Sustrans for 70% of the construction funding required to build the bridge.

The work will be delivered alongside the Leith Connections project which is making improvements to community spaces and providing better connections for anyone walking, wheeling or cycling through the streets of Leith.

The Leith Connections project was awarded funding through Places for Everyone, an active travel infrastructure programme backed by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans.

I’m delighted that this funding award gives new hope for the future of Pride Bridge.

This structure is a local landmark, a link to Leith’s industrial past and a reminder of the pandemic, but above all else for me it is a celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride. It also provides a safe and convenient walking and cycling route between North Fort Street and Newhaven area.

Thanks to all those involved who have campaigned for its preservation.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener

The Pride Bridge serves as a vital walking, wheeling, and cycling connection for the people of Newhaven. It not only provides a direct and accessible link to local shops, businesses, and public transport in the area, but also stands as a vibrant symbol of community resilience. We’re excited to be able to support the design and development of a new bridge deck, and in due course, see this important link reinstated.

Kasper Schwartz from Sustrans

We are delighted to hear that Sustrans has agreed to fund a full design with community consultation. We believe the Pride Bridge to be a very important piece of local history and heritage, an essential safe and accessible active travel route, and a much loved community space. We also believe that, especially in light of rising hate crime statistics, it is really important for us to show both our solidarity with the LGBTQ community and our commitment to their safety and inclusion. The Save The Pride Bridge group is looking forward to working closely with the council to find a suitable solution to restore this important local landmark. 

Róisín Thérèse from the Save the Pride Bridge campaign

Members of the Transport and Environment Committee will receive an update on the funding award on Thursday (12 October). Watch committee live via webcast from 10am.

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