Golden Route and New Wolverhampton Bridge

Wolverhampton could soon boast its own yellow brick road – a half-mile pedestrian route cutting a vivid swathe through the city and highlighting the region’s proud heritage.

The ‘old gold’ route, which will inevitably draw comparisons to the magical trail in children’s classic The Wizard of Oz, will create a pathway from the Molineux to the train station. Its centrepiece will be an iconic gold bridge spanning the ring road and providing safe access for football fans and students at the city’s university.

Striking plans revealed by Midlands’ architects Johnson Design Partnership will transform the area, with educational features along the route underlining the city’s significance throughout the decades.

Architect Vic Johnson said it would give the city something to be proud of.

“For too long Wolverhampton has been the butt of other people’s jokes, yet we have plenty to be proud of,” he said.

“Businesses here have made their mark on Britain’s history, whether it was making parts for the Spitfire in World War II or breaking the land-speed record with the Sunbeam. Today is no different, with parts being made for the Eurofighter and the city’s football team back in the big time.

“Yet Wolverhampton still needs something to draw the visitors in. In the same way that Birmingham has Selfridges and London has the London Eye, this ‘old gold’ route will be a living, breathing, working landmark – as visible from the air as it will be on the ground.

“Some people have already described it as our own yellow brick road and it’s definitely got the same magic about it.”

Vic hopes the illuminated route will form the backdrop for countless city events, from parades to open-air exhibitions. Indeed, he is even looking at ways in which the bridge can generate its own electricity which will then be used to power the displays along the walkway.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the city and the technology is there for us to use,” he added. “Everyone we have spoken to so far seems really fired up to make this happen.”

Already the project has found favour with the City Council, with leader Neville Patten saying he thought it was a “brilliant idea”.

Feasibility studies are now under way, with Vic and his team presenting their study to the council in the spring of next year.
Wolverhampton could soon boast its own yellow brick road – a half-mile pedestrian route cutting a vivid swathe through the city and highlighting the region’s proud heritage.

The ‘old gold’ route, which will inevitably draw comparisons to the magical trail in children’s classic The Wizard of Oz, will create a pathway from the Molineux to the train station. Its centrepiece will be an iconic gold bridge spanning the ring road and providing safe access for football fans and students at the city’s university.

Striking plans revealed by Midlands’ architects Johnson Design Partnership will transform the area, with educational features along the route underlining the city’s significance throughout the decades.

Architect Vic Johnson said it would give the city something to be proud of.

“For too long Wolverhampton has been the butt of other people’s jokes, yet we have plenty to be proud of,” he said.

“Businesses here have made their mark on Britain’s history, whether it was making parts for the Spitfire in World War II or breaking the land-speed record with the Sunbeam. Today is no different, with parts being made for the Eurofighter and the city’s football team back in the big time.

“Yet Wolverhampton still needs something to draw the visitors in. In the same way that Birmingham has Selfridges and London has the London Eye, this ‘old gold’ route will be a living, breathing, working landmark – as visible from the air as it will be on the ground.

“Some people have already described it as our own yellow brick road and it’s definitely got the same magic about it.”

Vic hopes the illuminated route will form the backdrop for countless city events, from parades to open-air exhibitions. Indeed, he is even looking at ways in which the bridge can generate its own electricity which will then be used to power the displays along the walkway.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the city and the technology is there for us to use,” he added. “Everyone we have spoken to so far seems really fired up to make this happen.”

Already the project has found favour with the City Council, with leader Neville Patten saying he thought it was a “brilliant idea”.

Feasibility studies are now under way, with Vic and his team presenting their study to the council in the spring of next year.