Network Rail commit to review of Brooks Lane footbridge

Image above: Brooks Lane Footbridge

Residents want the bridge to have step free access

Network Rail has informed Hounslow Council that it will not proceed with the replacement it had initially planned for the Brooks Lane footbridge over the railway line beside Strand on the Green junior school, and will instead be reviewing the bridge’s design.

The Brooks Lane footbridge is due an upgrade. Network Rail’s proposals encountered significant opposition because local residents wanted step-free accessibility. Led by Andrew Ross, the residents rallied against the proposed upgrade, arguing that the need for a replacement provided an ideal opportunity to ensure the bridge was fully accessible.

Andrew presented an alternative design demonstrating the feasibility of a step-free crossing, utilising land owned by Hounslow Council and the freeholder of the Chiswick Village estate.

In a crucial decision that further delayed the project, the Council rejected an application (PALL/2023/2425) for prior approval on 18 September. This rejection meant that Network Rail would be required to submit a full planning application, prolonging the process.

The company has previously said it was unable to commit to making the crossing accessible due to financial constraints.

Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment, and Transport, Councillor Katherine Dunne, confirmed Network Rail’s decision on Friday, (27 October). She announced:

“Given the current condition of the bridge, Network Rail has indicated that they may need to implement interim measures to ensure the bridge can remain open while exploring alternative design options.

“We await further confirmation and details on this from Network Rail but look forward to working collaboratively.

“We will continue to work with the local community on the design of a fully accessible bridge and will continue to provide updates as and when we receive them.

“As a Council we are committed to helping make travel around the borough accessible for all and will continue to work towards ensuring we, along with our partners are doing everything we can to meet the needs of the local people.”