Work is about to begin on building the new Barnes Bridge Walkway, which will create a continuation of the tow path on the north bank of the River Thames by going underneath Barnes Railway Bridge.
Currently the Thames Path in Dukes Meadows is curtailed by the bridge and pedestrians and cyclists using it face a long detour which takes them away from the river, taking a route through a narrow tunnel under a railway bridge before looping back to the river.
According to Chiswick Cllr John Todd, who has overseen the project on behalf of LB Hounslow, the new walkway is expected to be finished by April or May 2022.
Dukes Meadows is one of the largest open spaces in London, offering open access to the Thames via the Thames Path. The new walkway promises views of the river and the Dukes Hollow nature reserve, a natural tidal foreshore that contains diverse waterside flora and is home to two nationally rare snails.
Images above: Barnes Bridge 16 February 2021, CGI rendering of the Barnes Bridge Walkway by Moxon Architects
‘Excited would be an understatement’ – Cllr John Todd
The project has received cross-party support from Hounslow Council. Cllr Todd told The Chiswick Calendar that they’d had to overcome various hurdles:
“The start of the building is a culmination of months and months of research, submitting reports, getting permission from the railway, the Port of London Authority, various nature related matters and the Environment Agency as well as searching for Second World War bombs.”
Initially the Port of London Authority objected to the number of upright pillars proposed, which they said would have been a hazard to rowers and other river traffic.
Image above: Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, with Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council (centre), and Cllr John Todd (second from left) joined by Council officers and contractors as construction work begins. Photo: Hounslow Council
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:
“The bridge has been designed to maximise views across the river and provide easy access for wheelchair, mobility scooter and pushchair users.
“By improving access, we believe it will make a big difference to the many people who visit this beautiful area.
“It’s a dazzling design and will allow people to experience this part of the Thames in a completely new way.”
The bridge is part of the Dukes Meadows Masterplan, a series of proposals to improve the park’s facilities for sport, transport and access.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: More tower blocks planned for Bollo Lane
See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features
Support The Chiswick Calendar
The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.
We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.
To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.