Hull’s new A63 bridge will be named after the city’s first female GP after 55,000 votes were cast.
The footbridge will be named after trailblazer Dr Mary Murdoch, who was House Surgeon at the Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in Park Street and founder of the Hull Women’s Suffrage Society.
Students from the Newland School for Girls and Archbishop Sentamu Academy penned essays set to the question “The naming of the bridge – who inspires me and why?”.
A judging panel then sifted around 100 essays to produce a shortlist of five iconic figures with links to the area before opening up the question to the public.
The name will now be decided with the help of the pupils who nominated Dr Murdoch.
The people have spoken – Hull’s new bridge is going to be named after the city’s first female GP, Dr Mary Murdoch. Thank you to everyone who voted #A63hullpqbridge @emmahardyMP, @hullccnews, @thedeephull, @HumberLEP, @nsghull Read the full essay at https://t.co/D9OkfF6VvS pic.twitter.com/lxfmbMxPOJ
— Highways England (@HighwaysYORKS) April 30, 2020
The major Highways England project will see the bridge open to the public in the summer.
Dr Murdoch, who died in 1916 at the age of 51, proved the most popular choice from a star-studded list which included “headscarf revolutionary” Lillian Bilocca, philanthropist and abolitionist William Wilberforce, Julia Lee, the first woman to officiate men’s rugby league games in the UK, and heroic Second World War veteran Thomas Ransom.
Highways England senior project manager James Leeming said: “I would like to thank the diligent students who put so much time and effort into their fantastic essays. They put forward so many great nominations, all of whom would have been worthy winners, and they sparked a debate which captured the city’s imagination.
“Now the wait is over and we know Dr Murdoch has emerged as the people’s choice from a shortlist that contained individuals of the highest calibre. She is an outstanding choice and, given the current climate, it is fitting that the bridge will be named after a pioneering doctor who did so much for Hull.”
The bridge will connect the city centre to the marina, waterfront and fruit market. The structure is to cross the dual carriageway of the A63, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the road. It will also ease congestion on the A63.
It is being part funded with a £4m contribution from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s local growth fund programme, secured through its growth deals with Government and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Find updates on the project here.