Plans afoot for a green pedestrian walkway alongside Barnes Railway Bridge

Image above: Computer Generated Image by Moxon Architects

Using the original Barnes Railway Bridge

Residents in Barnes have got together to promote the idea of transforming the old railway bridge over the River Thames at Barnes into a green pedestrian walkway.

The original Grade II listed cast iron railway bridge was in use for 50 years before it was closed in 1895 and it still exists beside the newer bridge which carries trains from Waterloo to the south of England.

Peter Banks, Emma Robinson and James Kelly would like to turn it into a green walkway along the lines of the High Line in New York.

Peter first suggested the idea at an event in 2013 where residents were asked to put forward their ideas for improving their area. A team of residents has since joined forces and volunteered their time to see how they could transform the idea into reality, united ‘with a passion to see this historic structure restored to community use.’

They are talking to LB Hounslow and LB Richmond, who own the land on both banks, and have been working with Network Rail, who own the bridge, since 2016.

More recently, specialist award-winning consultants Moxon Architects have been appointed to progress the project. Moxon designed the walkway which is currently being installed underneath the Barnes Railway Bridge on the north shore, to create a continuation of the towpath.

READ ALSO: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

Image above: Computer Generated Image by Moxon Architects

The team behind the project

Peter is a retired housebuilder and engineer who has lived and worked in and around Barnes for over 50 years. A number of his property development projects have won awards for design and construction. His passion in retirement is restoration projects – bringing antique clocks, classic cars and disused buildings back to their former glory.

Emma is the Barnes Town Centre Manager, working for the Barnes Community Association. Her role is match funded by Richmond Council. It was at the ‘community visioning’ event she organised when she first came into the job that Peter first put forward the green bridge idea.

James Kelly is a finance professional, offering commercial and strategic advice to a wide variety of individuals, business and charities, through his consultancy. Prior to semi–retirement, he was a director of Science Limited, which managed the affairs and business activities of contemporary artist Damien Hirst.

Together they have the skillset to manage the project, called ‘The View at Barnes’, which would see the old bridge restored with a two metre-wide pedestrian walkway installed and planting, creating a linear park similar to NYC’s High Line, linking the north and south banks of the river at Barnes.

Key objective to make The View accessible to all

“The View will see the existing disused rail bridge restored to community use. Landscaped planters and seating will give visitors a chance to enjoy a newly opened up view of the river.

“A key objective of the project is to make The View accessible to all. This aim is at the forefront of all our planning and design processes.”

Surveys have confirmed the structure of the bridge is sound, they say, and would be able to stand the load of a walkway.

The work required to convert the bridge would include repositioning high voltage cables that power the existing rail services, removing rotten timber beams, installing new steel decking to take the planters and integrated seating and removing the “ugly metal parapet” and replacing it with glass or similar, to enable an unobstructed view.

The next step is to raise funds to pay for it and to proceed to applying for planning permission.

You can read more about the project on their website.

theviewatbarnesbridge.org

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See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

See also: A4 road works likely to cause months of traffic congestion in Chiswick

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