Leeds Wants a Mile-Long Park on a Viaduct

By Gary Cutlack on at

The city of Leeds has got its eye on one of those floating urban walkways that New York has, with a local group suggesting that the disused, mile-long Holbeck Viaduct would be substantially lovelier than it is now were it to be turned from an abandoned relic into a lovely floating park.

The project's backers have just released a comprehensive pre-feasibility report [PDF] on the plan, which they say would come in at a cost of around £2m. A previous cost estimate had it down at £6m for a higher spec build, with the bulk of the money going toward putting in access points so people can actually get up onto the thing from ground level. They're not planning to buy the entire site, though, as there are businesses operating below in the arches. So leasing the top layer only for park-ification is the choice.

The main sticking point seems to be convincing Network Rail that there won't be any future need for the old rail route. Seeing as the viaduct currently ends in wasteland that seems unlikely, although the project's leaders say any final decision rests on whether or not eventual plans for HS3 take the high-speed line anywhere near the area, as the government could conceivably want to revive the 1880s viaduct for future rail connections. [BBC]

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