A call for evidence – your views on the idea of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge in the borough

Closes 4 Jan 2019

Opened 12 Oct 2018

Overview

Since 2010 there have been a number of community proposals for a new pedestrian and cycling bridge over the River Thames, particularly one that would link Twickenham with Ham. Over the years there has been much public discussion as to whether or not these proposals would be feasible.

Last year, following extensive public consultation and engagement, the new Local Plan was adopted for the borough. The Local Plan is a strategy that sets out the priorities for the development of the borough and is used for making decisions on planning applications.

The Plan outlines a Council commitment to retain existing public access to the borough's rivers and consider opportunities to improve and enhance access arrangements, including creating inclusive access, where possible.

At the same time, the Plan includes a commitment to encourage proposals that would improve transport links within or between the borough and other areas. This could refer to physical proposals and improvements such as a new bridge or path.

Following the adoption of the Plan, the Council commissioned a high-level independent study by consultants WSP. The Council asked them to look at the possibility of a new bridge in the borough.

The Council is now publishing the findings from WSP and inviting the community to express their thoughts around these findings and the idea of a possible new bridge. At this point the Council wants to hear whether residents and the community think that this idea is worthy of further exploration. And if so, the Council will move forward with researching possible funding streams for a bridge and further feasibility studies.

Should a firm proposal for the bridge develop in the future, it would be subject to extensive public consultation, dependent upon the Planning process and full funding being identified.

A call for evidence on a possible new bridge

The Council has received requests from residents for additional bridges at a range of locations along the River Thames. 

A pedestrian and cycle bridge was included in a long list of potential infrastructure projects that could support sustainable growth as proposed in the Council’s Local Plan. The Council commissioned WSP to investigate the whole length of the river, so that rather than investigate sites on a piecemeal basis, we could find out whether there are any locations on the river where a bridge is potentially more feasible and more beneficial.

As part of the Council’s commitment to being open and transparent, we have committed to engaging with residents on proposals that will have an impact on the community at a very early stage in the process.

So, we want to hear your views on the possibility for a new bridge. That might be views on the feasibility study or your own evidence or views.

What would be the purpose of a new bridge?

  • A new bridge could possibly provide a more pleasant and safer journey experience for pedestrians and cyclists who currently suffer from poor amenity on existing bridges. It could improve the health and wellbeing of residents and others by effecting a mode shift from motorised modes to walking and cycling, and by encouraging new trips to be made by active travel
  • The bridge could provide a more direct and coherent route for short journeys over the river and link into the wider network for longer trips. This will help to connect people to homes, jobs, services, leisure activities and public transport connections
  • A bridge could support the potential for growth and regeneration and contribute to improving the public realm and public spaces around the bridge, and help to activate these areas

What did the consultants consider as part of their study?

Having reviewed the whole length of the River Thames through the borough, taking account of existing bridges, protected views, bends in the river, substructures and scheduled monuments, the remaining locations were considered against criteria including demand, safety and suitability of landing sites. Of five shortlisted locations, two potential sites for a crossing between Ham and Twickenham have been identified as the most beneficial. One proposal is a link from the Riverside at Orleans House Gardens in Twickenham to the end of Ham Street. The other is from Radnor Gardens over to Ham Lands.

Will the bridge definitely be built?

At this time there are NO firm proposals for this bridge and no funding has been allocated or sought. We are only at the very early stages of finding out the potential interest in the idea of a bridge. The only work that has been carried out so far is the high-level feasibility study. Should there be positive interest that the proposal should be further explored, the Council will move forward with a full feasibility study, identifying possible funding and proposals for wider community engagement.

What next?

Resident feedback is invited until 4 January 2019. After this we will report back what we have heard and, if appropriate, a process for developing a proposal, including routes to identify relevant funding. We will feed back via the Council website and the resident e-newsletter.

Have your say

Please read the Thames Bridge Feasibility Study summary report here before giving us your views using the online survey below.

The summary report will also be on display at the Civic Centre Twickenham, Ham and Twickenham Libraries and at the Twickenham Community Conversation event on 15th October.

The more detailed version of the feasibility study report is also available on the Council website here for those who would like to read it.

If you would like a paper copy of any of the documents including the survey questionnaire, please contact us at consultation@richmond.gov.uk

Please be advised that the closing date for your submission is 4 January 2019.

Give Us Your Views

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