Olympic and world champ Dani King to open viaduct

Olympic and world champ Dani King to open viaduct

Olympic and world champ Dani King to open viaduct

First published in News
Last updated

Hampshire world and Olympic cycling champion Dani King will officially open the landmark Hockley Viaduct today.

To mark the event, Dani will cross the bridge accompanied by children from Compton All Saints Church of England Primary School and junior sports leaders from sixth-form colleges.

The much-loved railway bridge has been restored, with repair of brickwork, re-pointing of the viaduct parapets and the laying of a concrete deck.

Some sections of the parapet have been lowered to allow visitors to see the attractive river, countryside and city views beyond.

The £1m restoration was funded jointly by Winchester City Council (£500,000), Hampshire County Council (£250,000), Sustrans (£200,000 through the Department for Transport ‘Linking Places’ fund) and the Fieldfare LEADER programme (£50,000).

The refurbishment of the viaduct also completes the final section of National Cycle Network Route 23 which runs from Reading to the Isle of Wight.

In addition, the restoration of the 123-year-old structure will enable commuters to park and cycle from the South Park & Ride site into the city centre, and provide an important link to the South Downs Way for leisure walking and cycling.

Dani King and a party of children and VIP guests were due to break the red ribbon held by the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Frank Pearson and former leader of the City Council George Beckett.

Cllr Victoria Weston, city council transport boss said: “It is so exciting to see this much-loved local structure returned to its former glory.

"We have had universal support for the project, and many comments from residents who are already enjoying using the new route.

"This opening marks the start of a year in which cycling will play an increasingly important role in the Winchester district, building on the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"But it’s a great route for walking too, with a flat surface for pushchairs, wheelchairs and scooters, for those who wish to take things as a steadier pace.”

Cllr Andrew Gibson, Hampshire County Council’s Cycling Champion, said: “This project preserves an important piece of Hampshire’s heritage, rejuvenating a fantastic feat of engineering.

"The viaduct is one of our landscape’s iconic structures and with completion of the restoration the viaduct has been given a new lease of life by providing a useful alternative route for cyclists both for commuting and leisure purposes.”

Comments (4)

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9:32pm Tue 26 Feb 13

geoff51 says...

I bet the cycling fraternity will use it like a race track the same as the Totton greenways and tell the pedestrians to get out of the ***""^^ way!
I bet the cycling fraternity will use it like a race track the same as the Totton greenways and tell the pedestrians to get out of the ***""^^ way! geoff51
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Tue 26 Feb 13

IronLady2010 says...

She must be so proud!
She must be so proud! IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Fri 8 Mar 13

localboy191 says...

Sorry, but am I the only one who dissents a little about this project?

Half a million pounds - HALF A MILLION POUNDS? On renovating a crumbling old structure for cyclists???

Meanwhile...whenever I drive into Winchester (which is as little as possible these days, due to the ridiculous parking charges, one way system and over-eager traffic lights) I am greeted by roads that are becoming fit for nothing less than a 4x4. Chesil Street - huge bumps, dips, holes and cracks - feels like a rally course sometimes. St. Cross Road and Southgate Street - same. Romsey Road - similar story. Even Andover Road is suffering. These are the main arterial routes into town, and they're in a terrible state. But the council deems a better priority is to waste 500 grand on a cyclepath!

I used to be a small business owner in Winchester - not anymore though! After only 2 years of trading, it was decided that the rateable value of my Business Rates should rise by - 100%! Yep, double! Coupled with the aggressive, strong-arm theft of the 'BID' initiative (this is not optional - pay up or face court) which did nothing to help my business, I ended up facing a rates bill that my small concern just could not pay. This is how the Council deems good practice to treat the hands that feed them and keep our City going, and people visiting it. Coupled with loony decisions on parking and parking charges, I am convinced that the Council won't be happy until the town centre is empty, there are no shops left, and it's devoid of people.
I'm so glad (not) that the money from the rate bills (and my private house's council tax), that were so high that some months I had to borrow on credit cards just to pay my staff, has gone on a monstrous, council vanity project like this viaduct scheme, that is the biggest joke of a white elephant I've ever seen!

What an unbelievable waste of money and resources, especially in this financial climate. Roads are crumbling, local businesses are struggling for survival, local services and facilities are having to cope with less and less council funding, but it was some misguided, breathtaking priority to throw all that money at an old brick bridge.

I am disgusted, appalled, and not a little bit angry!
Sorry, but am I the only one who dissents a little about this project? Half a million pounds - HALF A MILLION POUNDS? On renovating a crumbling old structure for cyclists??? Meanwhile...whenever I drive into Winchester (which is as little as possible these days, due to the ridiculous parking charges, one way system and over-eager traffic lights) I am greeted by roads that are becoming fit for nothing less than a 4x4. Chesil Street - huge bumps, dips, holes and cracks - feels like a rally course sometimes. St. Cross Road and Southgate Street - same. Romsey Road - similar story. Even Andover Road is suffering. These are the main arterial routes into town, and they're in a terrible state. But the council deems a better priority is to waste 500 grand on a cyclepath! I used to be a small business owner in Winchester - not anymore though! After only 2 years of trading, it was decided that the rateable value of my Business Rates should rise by - 100%! Yep, double! Coupled with the aggressive, strong-arm theft of the 'BID' initiative (this is not optional - pay up or face court) which did nothing to help my business, I ended up facing a rates bill that my small concern just could not pay. This is how the Council deems good practice to treat the hands that feed them and keep our City going, and people visiting it. Coupled with loony decisions on parking and parking charges, I am convinced that the Council won't be happy until the town centre is empty, there are no shops left, and it's devoid of people. I'm so glad (not) that the money from the rate bills (and my private house's council tax), that were so high that some months I had to borrow on credit cards just to pay my staff, has gone on a monstrous, council vanity project like this viaduct scheme, that is the biggest joke of a white elephant I've ever seen! What an unbelievable waste of money and resources, especially in this financial climate. Roads are crumbling, local businesses are struggling for survival, local services and facilities are having to cope with less and less council funding, but it was some misguided, breathtaking priority to throw all that money at an old brick bridge. I am disgusted, appalled, and not a little bit angry! localboy191
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Sat 9 Mar 13

geoff51 says...

At last someone who believes like me that the cycling fraternity are a pampered elite who get far more than they are entitled to.
I agree that this vanity project sucked in far too much money that would have been better used in the city.
This tatty old bridge should have been demolished when the old Winchester bypass was dug up as it was neither use nor ornament.
I expect as usual the cyclists will comandeer the route and force walkers out of the way.
At last someone who believes like me that the cycling fraternity are a pampered elite who get far more than they are entitled to. I agree that this vanity project sucked in far too much money that would have been better used in the city. This tatty old bridge should have been demolished when the old Winchester bypass was dug up as it was neither use nor ornament. I expect as usual the cyclists will comandeer the route and force walkers out of the way. geoff51
  • Score: 0

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