Bennerley Viaduct: Visitor hopes for newly opened attraction

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Heritage Spaces

A group behind the reopening of a previously at-risk Victorian viaduct is expecting hundreds of visitors on its opening weekend.

Bennerley Viaduct, which runs between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, opened to the public on Thursday after more than five decades of dereliction.

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct said a constant stream of tourists have visited the site this week. They are asking visitors to check their website for information on access.

Bennerley Viaduct opened as a railway bridge in 1877 but was closed as part of the Beeching railway cuts in 1968. An investment of £1.7m has allowed it to be turned into a footbridge for cyclists and pedestrians.

Nick Tooley, a committee member for the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct group, said the opening day was “very, very busy”. He says Friday was also popular, despite the freezing weather.

“While I was there for an hour there were probably 30 or 40 people wandering back and forth so I would like to think we’re in the hundreds,” he said.

“There’s a lot of people who are very local. There’s some very positive feedback, which is great.”

He says he is expecting to see even more visitors at the Grade II listed bridge over the weekend.

Mr Tooley added the bridge reopening is “just the beginning”.

Plans for the future include improved access to the viaduct.

“It is easily accessible on foot from either end because at one end we have a ramp. At the other end we have some temporary steps but once we’ve got enough money there’ll be a ramp at the other end.”

The group has also seen an increase in digital support since the viaduct reopened . Mr Tooley said: “The social media and online support has had a real peak over the last couple of days, which is great.”


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