Students bridge the gap between local communities


Two Engineering students from the University Centre at Blackburn College have been ensuring local residents’ access to the historic Martholme viaduct by building two footbridges to reinstall a footpath between Simonstone Lane and Gooseleech Wood.

Students Lee Paterson (35) and Adam Lucas (36) were tasked with building two footbridges to connect the footpath as part of their BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering programme at the University Centre at Blackburn College.

Simonstone Lane and Gooseleech Wood lie between Great Harwood and Read, forming part of the Victorian Martholme viaduct which was only re-opened last year after being closed during the foot and mouth crisis in 2001.

The students were delighted to be involved in the project, especially in the knowledge that the scheme would ensure local residents’ access to the surrounding countryside for years to come.

Adam said: “When our tutor Dr John Barker approached us, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.

“It is incredibly unusual for two BEng (Hons) Engineering Degree students to be able to build a public footbridge that will actually be installed and used – it’s phenomenal that you can get opportunities like these as a student.”

Lee said: “I’m very happy and proud to have been able to work on this project and can say without any shadow of doubt that this has been the most satisfying project that I’ve ever worked on.

“It just feels great to know that it’s going to be used in such a pleasant environment for a charitable association who are providing a great service to the local community, I’m very happy to have been part of this project.”

The project was championed by Martholme Greenway Group which exists to promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation and protection of the environment of the Great Harwood Loop to Read, Simonstone and Padiham Greenway.

Funded by Tesco’s local community grant scheme, Bags of Help and Sustrans, this project forms part of a larger scheme to bring the Victorian viaduct to life for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

To find out more about Engineering programmes at the University Centre at Blackburn College visit or ring the Hub on 01254 292929.

Pictured are Lee and Adam with Nigel Evans MP.

27 Jul 2018, 09:07 AM

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