The national charity which backed the building of the Big Red Bridge across Manchester Road is hailing it as a major triumph one year after its opening.

Alternative transport charity Sustrans teamed up with Bradford Council to create the spectacular bridge and give a safe link to and from town for walkers and cyclists.

Sustrans’ Bike-It officer for Bradford, Emily Groves, said: “It’s now a safe route to school for children at Newby Primary School who live in Marshfields over the road and riders using the National Cyle Nework have a high quality route from Bradford centre to Dewsbury.”

Other schools that benefit from the bridge and improved walking routes are St Joseph’s, St Stephen’s and Dixon’s Academy.

An estimated 260,000 people have made trips across the bridge during the last 12 months with 85 per cent of people making the journey at least twice a week.

The bridge is also part of National Cycle Route 66 which will eventually run from Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester to Spurn Head in Yorkshire’s East Riding via Bradford, Leeds, York, Beverley and Hull.

Sustrans is primarily funded by grants from the Government and transport groups. The £1.5m to build the bridge came from the Big Lottery Fund Grant.

The bridge is linked up to a series of widened and improved footpaths and road crossing which is all part of what Sustrans calls its “avenue concept” as a way of encouraging people to walk or cycle along improved urban routes “We have got lots of schemes across the country, but our bridge is the most impressive – a real landmark,” said Mrs Groves, of Baildon.

Councillor Val Slater, executive member for housing and planning, said: “We are very proud of the bridge, which is not only a wonderful asset to the local community, but is a distinctive gateway to Bradford.”