Railway bridge gets rainbow makeover as ‘beacon of equality’
A bridge in Leeds has been given an LGBT makeover – painted in the colours of the Pride flag.
The formerly-dingy rail bridge, situated on Lower Briggate, was given a makeover thanks to a joint effort from Network Rail, local LGBT diversity campaigner Thomas Wales and Leeds City Council.
The idea for the bridge project first came up in 2012, but it took several years until the project got the go-ahead from Network Rail, who were already set to carry out renovation work on the bridge.
Work began last year, and this month the bridge was finally completed in all its rainbow splendour.
Check out the transformation:
The bridge has been hailed as a “huge statement that literally screams the freedom that Leeds fully embraces”.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for culture, said: “This bridge represents a tremendous show of support for the city’s LGBT community.
“Not only will the Leeds Freedom Bridge be an eye-catching addition to what is already a lively and electric part of Leeds, it will also make a huge statement to our many visitors, that here, we embrace and celebrate diversity and the contribution it makes to ensuring Leeds is such a warm, welcoming and successful city.”
Neil Henry, area director for Network Rail, said: “Work at the bridge on Lower Briggate, which carries a huge number of vital passenger services to the north of Leeds, was essential to keep rail services reliable and forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“We’re delighted that our stakeholders want the bridge to become an iconic one for the city and were more than happy to have worked with them on the new colour scheme.”
Thomas Wales, ‘Leeds Freedom Bridge’ project leader and LGB&T campaigner, said: “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.”