Monday, 21 October 2019

LBRUT: Transport and Air Quality Committee

Richard and Mark will be attending the Councils' Transport and Air Quality Committee meeting this evening (21st October 2019).

Richard is registered to ask a question of the committee regarding topic #6 titled "Active Travel Strategy". Things we would like the committee to consider include;
  1. It’s pretty odd to run a consultation attracting 1000 responses, overwhelmingly positive, on a dual-use bridge and then not mention it at all in the draft Active Travel Strategy.
  2. The Active Travel Strategy does explicitly mention some of the issues Radnor Bridge could help massively with (E.g.; high levels of cycling demand in the area, problems with the width of Richmond Bridge for cycling, the barrier to connectivity the river represents, safety issues, consideration of bridges over busy roads, etc.
  3. The Strategy could and should include a commitment to carry out the second phase of work on feasibility of the two options supported by the public and first study in consultation. It would, of course, involve officer time and resource (...but we know of a direct offer from the Mayor for TfL support in answer to a written question on the matter of resources being made available, from Caroline Pidgeon, last year).
  4. The Council can’t, of course, commit to building a bridge within the timescales because it is reliant on the outcome of further work and on discussion with others over funding sources. But it does need to be taken forward to the next phase of work, and this is the right opportunity to commit to doing so.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Twick'n'Ham Bridge



Recently a new campaign was launched on Twitter promoting an alternative bridge across the River Thames connecting Twickenham to Ham. We're not sure who is behind this action (but we can hazard a guess).

The confusing thing is that they have called their bridge "Twick'n'Ham Bridge", which was quickly pointed out by @twickerman to be regarded as a generic reference for a river crossing in this part of London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames (LBRUT). Indeed, the Radnor Bridge has used the term "Twick'n'Ham" on a number of its social media channels since it emerged in 2010.


Some context

In January 2019 Radnor Bridge was one of two bridges that were announced as favourable options from a review looking at ways to address the growing transport infrastructure needs in West London. It is important to note that LBRUT is the only 'transpontine' borough in London (equally divided on both sides of the river).



A pedestrian and cycle bridge feasibility study was produced by WSP in October 2018, for the previous leadership at LBRUT. This study looked into a variety of bridge options, proposed locations and expected demand and usage. Based on the recommendations from this feasibility study LBRUT (under new leadership at this time) put the vote to the people in "A call for evidence – your views on the idea of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge in the borough", the results of which can be found here.

Just two bridges were recommended for further consideration. These were "bridge 13" (RadnorBridge) and "bridge 15" (which calls itself Twick'n'Ham Bridge although it crosses from Ham House to Orleans Gallery, close to where Hammerton Ferry boat is located). 





Moving forward

A public debate is now being had, on social media and in other forums, regarding both of these initiatives. Once LBRUT has decided how to proceed, funding will need to be found to make their preferred solution happen. This could be that both bridges get built or, due to their proximity to one another, just one bridge gets built (we think this is the more likely).



Our response to their 5 tweets

The Orleans Gallery bridge has posted on Twitter 5 key reasons to promote their bridge as the right choice. Obviously we beg to differ with their points of view and can share our responses here;




 In response to their tweet 3/5 we shared a picture of the benefits listed in the Radnor Bridge pamphlet, which can also be found here "Our New Thames Bridge" on this blog.



If you have further response /comments to share to this discussion, please do so here.


Finally

We were pleased to see this supportive letter for Radnor Bridge, from Doug Wheller, which was published in the Twickenham Tribune;



Wednesday, 14 August 2019

A response to the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune



We were surprised to read the 'bridge too far' article in the 2nd August edition (ref; 0143).

Radnor Bridge is not a bridge too far. This is the same title as was used in the Richmond & Twickenham Times article several years ago and endorsed mainly by Clare Head. Was she behind this new article?

When the previous article was published it alluded to the deep social divisions in the borough. Proclaiming that people in Strawberry Hill did not want the riff-raff from Ham to have access across the river. This point of view was rightly scorned on social media and is precisely why we need to see the bridge built.

This somewhat divisive perspective is very narrow minded and does not fairly represent the point of view of the vast majority of people living in Strawberry Hill. People in a position of influence within the borough should not use their position to hinder progress for the many.

The Radnor Bridge promises a wonderful legacy for future generations living within LBRUT. It is a strategic solution to a divided 'transpontine' borough and will deliver a much needed modern solution to our transport infrastructure requirements.

The cost of the bridge is unknown as yet, so proposing figures of £19m in your article is unsubstantiated. But without doubt Radnor Bridge will pay for itself many times over once in existence. The leaflets you referred to were shared openly at both Ham and Twickenham summer fairs this year. In them you will find a list of some of the many benefits we believe Radnor Bridge will bring to our borough.

The local support for Radnor Bridge (which these two events revealed) showed us that this is NOT a bridge too far but is in-fact a much needed solution that many would like to see built.

Friday, 21 June 2019

RadnorBridge pop-ups

In June we established a pop up gazebo at both the Ham Fair and then for the two days Twickenham Church Street Goes Green. Needless to say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

In anticipation of these two events we had 2000 of 'Our New Thames Bridge' booklets printed. This is an 8pp leaflet that helps communicate detailed information about the Radnor Bridge idea, in terms of what has been done to-date and what needs to be done next.

Both events proved to be fabulous occasions for meeting members of the public. They also presented an opportunity to gather instant feedback on the idea and quickly learn how keen people are to see it happen. Needless to say the feedback was mainly very positive, which is great. We only wish we had done this sooner! Maybe then we would have score a significantly higher percentage of people wanting "Bridge 13" (Radnor Bridge) in the "Have your say" consultation, run by the Council, following the SWP feasibility study.

Following these events we are definitely picking up a discernible increase in volume, as people share and discuss the Radnor Bridge idea online and also face to face. This is all very exciting as this was our primary objective; to simply increase awareness and get people talking about this idea more.

May we encourage you to speak to any Councillors you know, so that collectively we can encourage key decision makers locally and so help get this bridge built.



Friday, 31 May 2019

Our New Thames Bridge


We remain convinced our area needs this ‘big idea’. Mainly because it will help better connect every quarter of Richmond Borough. Do you agree?

 

Why not come and meet the Radnor Bridge team. 

We will be having a stand at both the Ham Fair on 8th June and also for the two days Twickenham Church Street Goes Green on 15th and 16th June.


The Radnor Bridge is not a new idea, but was so named by Mark and Richard to help convey that, in their opinion, Radnor Gardens is the only appropriate location for a pedestrian and cycle bridge. A list of reasons and the benefits they bring was created in 2010.

 

The benefits it will bring


This list, while clearly not exhaustive, may help clarify why this piece of sustainable transport infrastructure is important to the borough;
  • Radnor Bridge will prove to be a strategic link in the heart of Richmond Borough. Delivering benefits to a great number of residents, visitors, ramblers and cyclists, while reducing the need for many cars to be on the road.
  • Located at Radnor Gardens, Radnor Bridge helps to deliver the full intentions of the Thames Arcadian landscape strategy for both sides of the river.
  • The entrance to the bridge will peel off from a new mini-roundabout installed at the intersection between Pope’s Grove and Cross Deep, which will improve traffic safety around the two schools located there.
  • The topology at this location offers the best potential for a bridge crossing. The natural height at Cross Deep means that the bridge will only need to rise a further 2m to clear sailing masts at high tide.
  • Radnor Bridge will serve to open up more of Twickenham to the river, taking emphasis away from the heated debate about the town center and encouraging greater interest and access to neighbouring parts of the borough.
  • There are 1.3 million people who annually enjoy walking along the river trail. Radnor Bridge will help to boost such local tourism by connecting Strawberry Hill House with Ham House (as well as York House, Orleans Gallery and Marble Hill House). It will also help to facilitate adoption of the poetry trail’ developed locally. And, in this way, Radnor Bridge will no doubt support usage of the much loved Hammerton ferry.
  • Similarly, Radnor Bridge will provide an already densely populated Strawberry Hill area with access to “one of the most significant and extensive stretches of riverside historic landscape and public amenity open space of any city in the world" (Kim Wilkie Report, 2005). Land which needs careful management akin to the amazing work FORCE is already delivering along the Crane River.
  • Finally, Radnor Bridge will provide important supporting infrastructure for the planned growth of St Mary’s University (from 5000 to 9000 students) along with improved accessibility to (and usage of) Strawberry Hill station.
We are sure you can add your own additional benefits to this list too.


Friday, 14 September 2018

A reminder of what we wrote in 2010



Back in 2010, Mark Wing and Richard Woolf teamed up to propose a new pedestrian and twin lane cycle bridge over the River Thames. The location at Radnor Gardens, as the satellite image shows, seemed obvious from a topological point of view. 

 

This 'big idea' was to grow into a personal exercise resulting in some fabulous open debate and some very interesting personal introductions.

 

In 2011 we shared the following on this blog;

 

The opportunity came about because a personal friend of Mark's was engaged as a Councillor in the Richmond-Upon-Thames area, with responsibility for the river and its immediate surrounding areas. So when the Council decided to host a public meeting in July, to give local people the opportunity to shape the future of Twickenham, he encouraged us to share some ideas.

The event was known as the 'Barefoot Consultation' and lasted several days. The aim was to reinvent the process of ideas generation and community consultation and in so doing gathered together individuals and collectives with their initiatives and ideas for the borough (as well as allowing expression to those with concerns over the future of our built environment). The event sought to challenge preconceptions offering a range of possibilities and a platform to communicate them to a wider audience. Although focused on Twickenham, many of the exhibitors such as the River Thames Society had close links to Ham too.

Richard and Mark had been pondering over the crossing for some time and this event in July proved the ideal moment for us to exhibit a proposal that is now slowly gathering momentum.

The Radnor Bridge will provide a single span crossing with clearance height for modern leisure craft and will support the current expansion of cycling as a major alternative means of transport within the capital. The objective is to provide a bridge, which will give both a safe segregated disabled compliant pedestrian route and a two-lane provision for substantial cycle capacity for commuters and leisure cyclists alike. In addition it will enable many families with school age children to gain safe cycle access between the two parts of the borough.

Key reasons why the Radnor Bridge is the right idea for Richmond Borough;


Despite these "tightening our belt" times, The Radnor Bridge will prove its value to both Ham and Twickenham as being far greater than the cost to build it. Richard and Mark are also convinced this is the right location for such a bridge because;

  • It will provide the perfect round walk, offering the densely populated Strawberry Hill area with access to what has been described as "one of the most significant and extensive stretches of riverside historic landscape and public amenity open space of any city in the world" (Kim Wilkie Report, 2005), which happens to be only 50 meters away on the other side of the river.
  • It will serve to open up more of Twickenham to the river, taking emphasis away from the heated debate about the town centre, encouraging greater interest and access to other parts of the town.
  • It will increase use of the much loved Hammerton ferry crossing (accessed from Marble Hill Gardens) not put it out of business, as many have feared a bridge between Twickenham and Ham would do.
  • It will support the 1.3 million people who annually enjoy walking along the river trail, by connecting Ham House to Strawberry Hill House. Boosting local tourism and making this a very pleasant day's excursion.

Mark has lived in Twickenham since 1970 and commented in the press in July "…it is hard to believe there has never been a bridge here before. It is the most perfect position to cross the river and will open up both communities".
Richard, an architect based in Richmond, has lived in Ham since 1980. We have worked together on Design Council initiatives and he is also involved in a number of Richmond/Ham developments and therefore has a good understanding of the landscaping strategy for the Ham side of the river. In July Richard was quoted in the press as saying "This particular river crossing will make a natural progression of landscape and urban designs long planned for this part of London, making it a very exciting project and one that must surely be built".

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Community Infrastructure Levy









Cllr Ben Khosa recently shared with the Radnor Bridge team the following message from David Tidley, who is the Transport Strategy Team Manager serving Richmond and Wandsworth Councils.

"The Council’s Local Plan commits the Council to investigating the possibility of a footbridge across the Thames between Ham and Twickenham.  The Community Infrastructure Levy List includes the possibility of a new bridge, although I would add that the CIL List is a long list of schemes in excess of expected CIL funding and no funding has currently been identified for a bridge.

Consultants are currently engaged to do some high level work comparing potential locations for foot/cycle bridges within Richmond.  In short, their brief is to identify where in Richmond any locations for bridges might stack up in terms of need, demand, cost and deliverability. The Radnor Bridge location is included in this work.

New Thames crossings are few and far between. Even accounting for the lesser width of the river in Richmond compared with other parts of London which could enable the river to be spanned without piling into the riverbed, there would be significant engineering, environmental and cost challenges. New bridges have significant risks associated with them as well as longer term liabilities. The current high level business case work will help identify what these challenges are and would help the Council determine its next steps."