Published: Thu 1 June, 2023
Work to revitalise a key gateway into Coalville town centre is almost complete, thanks to an on-going project by councils, landowners and Network Rail.
Mantle Lane Bridge has been completely repainted in heritage railway colours and new railings have been installed, creating a welcoming entrance to Memorial Square.
North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has worked with Network Rail, Coalville Heritage Society and Leicestershire County Council, as well as landowners to the sides of the bridges – Harlow Brothers and the Springboard Centre – to make sure the look of the landmark is improved. New lighting installed in the coming months will further enhance the gateway to the town centre.
The improvement project forms part of the Coalville Regeneration Framework using money from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, along with financial contributions from Network Rail and Leicestershire County Council.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of NWLDC, said: “Mantle Lane Bridge has long been on our list of projects that will improve how Coalville looks and feels for people living, working and visiting.
“As with many of these projects, it’s a complicated one, with different landowners and responsible organisations, plus considerations like road and rail closures. I’m very proud of the project team of councillors and officers from NWLDC and Leicestershire County Council, local businesses and the Coalville Heritage Society. They have worked tirelessly to make sure this important project happens. I’m pleased to see the bridge returned to its former glory.”
Councillor John Legrys, NWLDC ward councillor, said: “Mantle Lane Bridge was one of the first issues I raised when I was first elected in 2007. I am pleased that Network Rail have worked with both councils, local businesses and Coalville Heritage Society to bring about these essential improvements."
Councillor Craig Smith, Leicestershire County Councillor for Coalville, said: “It’s been a great honour to be involved with this project since its inception. I was pleased to be able to allocate £40,000 of my Highways Maintenance Fund allocation to help the project take shape. It’s a real showcase of what can be achieved when different authorities, landowners, businesses and outside agencies work together for the benefit of our community. Well done Team Coalville.”
History of Mantle Lane Bridge
Mantle Lane Bridge is a symbol of Coalville’s growth and industrial heritage and nowadays the road is a main route into and through the town. The bridge opened in 1912, replacing a level crossing, which had caused lots of delays for people visiting the centre of Coalville.
The town and coal mining industry had grown so great that the level crossing was no longer able to deal with the amount of rail traffic. The then owners (Midland Railway) were forced by the Board of Trade to build a bridge and underpass so that access to the town centre was improved.