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Rail bridge to be painted rainbow colours

Lower Briggate bridge in Leeds

A railway bridge in Leeds is set to be repainted in rainbow colours as part of repair and strengthening work.

Network Rail is carrying out the work on the bridge, which crosses Lower Briggate in the city centre. It said that work will begin later this month and the bridge will be redecorated in a bespoke paint design thanks to funding raised by the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and Leeds City Council.

The bridge, which carries trains traveling north from Leeds rail station, will also see vital engineering work carried out as part of Network Rail’s ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan.

The work is due to be completed in February next year.

“Work at the bridge on Lower Briggate, which carries a huge number of vital passenger services to the north of Leeds, is essential to keep rail services reliable and forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan,” said Network Rail area director Neil Henry.

“We’re delighted that our stakeholders want the bridge to become an iconic one for the city and were more than happy to work with them on the new colour scheme.”

LGBT campaigner Thomas Wales, who came up with the idea for painting the bridge, said: “The new rainbow colour scheme is based on a variation of the Freedom Flag as designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978.

“Each colour represents something different, from life and harmony to nature and spirit, it is also a scheme that has been adopted internationally to celebrate freedom in sexuality and gender identity in our city. It is destined to become a landmark we can all be proud of.”

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