A Year After Work Began – Villa Real Bridge

Villa Real Bridge To be Removed This Week

Work began in Leadgate to demolish the Villa Real Bridge back in May 26th 2015. The road bridge linked Leadgate with Villa Real and Consett. Durham County Council said the bridge is beyond repair and will be replaced as part of a £2.4million road improvement scheme for the area (read DCC’s information about the demolition).


Originally Published on Nov 6, 2015 on YouTube.com by Durham County Council
Find out about the £2.4m project to remove Villa Real bridge to ease congestion and boost the local economy.

£2.4 Million Road Improvement Scheme

“In total the project is costing £2.4m, that’s including diverting all the utilities, doing all the engineering works and all the landscaping that goes afterwards. But it’s an important part of the local community that what we have now is a barrier; it’s an eyesore, and actually removing the eyesore, not only will it remove our future maintenance liabilities, will hopefully enhance the area to encourage economic growth in Leadgate.”
Source: Durham County Council YouTube Channel

The road bridge between Villa Real and Front Street, Leadgate started life as a Victorian railway bridge in around 1896. The railway line stopped functioning back in the 1980s when the railway tracks were taken up and converted into the C2C cycle path.

Villa Real Bridge Closed For A Year

After the bridge was closed back in 2015, there were materials found that would be economically difficult to dispose of. This has delayed the demolition and the road improvement scheme was re-designed to take this into consideration.

Bridge Closure Affecting Local Businesses

Many business owners and resident in Leadgate have expressed their disappointment in the delay, with many taking to Facebook to discuss the closure (see Consett & District Heritage Facebook Group). Disruption to local shops and businesses began in May 2015 when the work began.

After the propping of the bridge was undertaken in 2015 the condition of the bridge deteriorated so much so that it had become safe to re-open and was permanently closed to all traffic including pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

If the bridge closure has affected you or someone you know, leave a comment below to share your experiences and tell us more about it.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My Dad lives in Leadgate and is disabled had he not been able to use his car he would have had to rely on buses and those buses ate no longer able to go up front street. How the elderly residents from the haven bungalows or the haven house area are getting about is beyond me must be costing them a fortune in taxi fare as its some distance for them to the stops on Durham road outside the post office or the old tute opposite the doctors. How are the elderly expected to carry shopping and walk that far to the stops that used to be at the end of their street? . access is terrible the traffic has always bottle necked down Durham road with all the aprked cars down one side and now regularly you meet articulated lorries buses etc coming the other way. The temporary cut through the industrial estate isn’t equipt for the traffic not to mention the business users and there work shops having access issues due to traffic. It should have been done by now simple as. Leadgate is loosing lots of trade and visitors by cutting off this access route the council should have been better prepared to dispose of stuff they need to get rid of not like they didn’t know what materials would need disposing of before the closure was made. Was a temporary thing that has lasted far beyond what it should have. Nuisance for all residents business owners and visitors alike!

  2. I see the need to replace the bridge,however short term thinking by DCC has again been the mindset of the Council as it was back in 1984 when DCC effectively killed off the original railway by refusing to look at subsidising a limited passenger operation on the route.All over the Country former railway routes have been reopened as a logical alternative to our overcrowded road system. For example the newly reconstructed Borders Railway , which has been a great success. Consett is now the largest town in England without a rail link. The lack of a rail link stifles growth.
    From what I understand a new road would be built over the former track bed at this location creating a barrier to the reopening of this route when it happens. Most of the former route from the East Coast mainline is still intact with a few exceptions, so the works that will be carried out will in all likelihood be a waste of taxpayers money when it has to be altered again to accommodate a railway once more.
    Durham County Council really needs to get over its fixation for road building and consider rail as a very real alternative to overcrowded and frustrating road transport. History has shown DCC to have made some appalling decisions over the years and one can only assume that vested self interest by those parties involved has been a factor in that process.

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