Community called upon to help design replacement for Pride Bridge

Graham Robson February 26, 2024

Residents of a Scottish town are being called upon to help design a replacement for the Lindsay Road Bridge, also known as Pride Bridge, which was a popular route over Hawthornvale Path in Leith.

In 2021, it was painted in rainbow colours, leading to it being named locally as the ‘Rainbow’ or ‘Pride’ Bridge. That same year, the bridge, which is at the end of its lifespan, was closed due to concerns around health and safety, sparking a local Save the Pride Bridge campaign.

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.

Now a designer, Mott McDonald, has been appointed and, along with the council, they’re looking to work with the local community to develop proposed designs. Two information sessions and an online consultation will help the team to better understand everyone’s needs and gather feedback on proposed designs.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “The Pride Bridge has been such a well-loved landmark and thoroughfare for the local community, it’s only right that we involve them to develop a replacement.

“I was delighted last year when we secured funding to design a new bridge deck, which would once again provide a safe and convenient walking and cycling route between North Fort Street and Newhaven area.

“The strength of feeling amongst local people for this bridge, and its celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride, has been inspiring. I’d like to thank those who campaigned to protect it.”

Kasper Schwartz, Grant Advisor for Sustrans, said: “We’re excited to see how designs for the new Pride Bridge come together over the next year, and are immensely grateful to the local community for their enthusiasm in seeing this vital active travel connection reinstated for North Edinburgh.

“The Pride Bridge is not only a key walking, wheeling and cycling link for communities surrounding the Hawthornvale Path, it is also as an iconic symbol of enduring support for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Róisín Thérèse, who leads the Save the Pride Bridge campaign, said: “The Save The Pride Bridge campaign has worked closely with the council and design team to communicate the wishes of the local residents in terms of preserving an accessible route, a community space, and an important LGBTQ+ landmark. We are excited to participate in the public consultations to reimagine this space and secure it as a valuable community asset for years to come.”

The online consultation will close on April 4.