A bridge to facilitate Active Travel

Active Travel is the new buzz phrase. In his call to make Richmond a world leader in healthy living Martin Habell, Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, said; “There is of course great opportunity: recent proposals for a pedestrian bridge from Ham to Radnor Gardens, to open up green space for central Twickenham residents should be moved up the agenda as part of a walking network par-excellence”.

After years of campaigning for the Radnor Bridge by Interrelated, the council’s local plan for The London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames (LBRUT) has committed to investigating the possibility of a footbridge across the Thames between Ham and Twickenham. Interrelated has always said that Radnor Bridge is the ‘Big Idea’ Twickenham and Ham desperately needs – A new Thames crossing to facilitate Active Travel – providing the densely populated Strawberry Hill access to vast Metropolitan Open Land just 90m away, and people in Ham access to public transport connections previously out of reach.

New Thames crossings are few and far between. Even accounting for the lesser width of the river in Richmond there remain significant engineering, environmental and cost challenges. Did you know? Richmond Bridge is the oldest surviving Thames Bridge still in use. (It was the eighth Thames bridge to be erected in what is known as Greater London, built in 1777 by James Paine and Kenton Couse). Kingston Bridge was built in 1828, Teddington Lock bridges (with a small island between them) were built between 1887-1889 and Twickenham Bridge didn’t come along until 1933, when the Chertsey Arterial Road was developed (now known as the A316).

In 2018 Consultants were asked to carry out high-level work, comparing potential locations for foot/cycle bridges within Richmond. Their brief was to identify where in Richmond any locations for bridges might stack up in terms of need, demand, cost and deliverability. The Radnor Bridge location (ref: Bridge13) came out favourably in this work and in October 2018, a new administration in LBRUT invited the local community through an online consultation to “have your say”.

In July 2019, Richmond Council declared a climate emergency. As part of this declaration, the Council resolves to be recognised as the greenest London borough and to become carbon neutral by 2030. The Council therefore adopted a new ambitious Local Implementation Plan featuring the headline target for 75% of trips to be by sustainable modes (walking, cycling and public transport) by 2041, from a baseline of 61%.

It has now been suggested that parties seeking representation in the 2022 Council elections should include plans for a “TwicknHamBridge” in their manifestos.

Watch this space.

A version of this blog article was first published on 10th January 2020 in Darling Magazine. The Radnor Bridge blogsite (the original authors of the piece) published its version on 13th January 2020. This news item is an abbreviated version of the original.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Comments (0)

Be the first to leave a reply!

Add Your Comment

* required

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!