The Bristol Arena has moved another step closer with the submission of a detailed planning application for the St Philips Footbridge, a new key access route to Arena Island.

The new bridge will provide access for pedestrians and cyclists from Albert Road, which will be used as a taxi and coach pick-up and drop-off point for arena visitors. It will complement the arena design, forming a natural extension of the public plaza and providing easy access to the 12,000 capacity venue.

The bridge has been specially designed to accommodate the height difference between the two riverbanks: its eastern end is forked, providing both a stepped access and a ramp leading to the main body of the bridge. The River Avon Path will also be upgraded as part of the works, ensuring that arena visitors using the bridge have a pleasant arrival experience. Integrated lighting will provide a safe and attractive route after dark, whilst reducing light spill into the surrounding areas.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said:

“This elegantly engineered new pedestrian bridge will mark yet another significant step towards the development of the new Bristol Arena and the Arena Island development. It follows the recently submitted arena application which should be considered by the planning committee in early March. The new bridge strengthens the connectivity of Arena Island with the wider Enterprise Zone and will create an important new route onto and through the site.

“The area adjacent to the arena will be totally revitalised, becoming a vibrant new commercial and cultural quarter for the city. I am greatly looking forward to crossing that bridge!”

The St Philips Footbridge is one of a number of projects planned for the area to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians. Work has started on creating a two-way segregated cycle path, a wider footpath on Cattle Market Road alongside new public spaces and landscaped areas. A new floating harbour walkway will connect the ferry landing stage at Temple Quay with the arena site, passing under Brunel’s railway viaduct and into Totterdown Basin.

Subject to planning approval, construction of the bridge will take place between August 2016 and April 2017.