Friday, 29 June 2012

Building a bridge over The River Thames (Part 2)

Following some initial consultation with The Friends of Radnor Gardens, we quickly learnt that it was not ideal for the bridge to dissect the Garden as originally planned. The previous plan was driven by the desire to exit the road (on the Strawberry Hill side of the river) at the higher level, to give the bridge the necessary clearance for sailing boats while also reduce any required gradient for cyclists and walkers. We also intended for the path to join Cross Deep somewhere near the mini-roundabout where Waldegrave Road intersects with Strawberry Vale, to improve cycle route access.

However, the garden is increasingly being used for public parties and there was therefore concern that a bridge across the middle would simply divide the garden into two separate areas. Obviously this was never our intention, but we realised that the plan would need to be revisited.

The revised idea is therefore to land the bridge on a raised path on the left hand side of the garden (see drawing) and to have a new mini-roundabout proposed for the point where Pope's Grove joins Cross Deep. On reflection we think that this options may indeed be better than the original and continues to work well for both cycling and walking access, while also introducing a very useful junction that will help to slow down traffic around the schools along this part of the main road.

Friday, 22 June 2012

A quick update on progress

What we have been up to lately
It’s been a while since I posted a quick update on our progress in driving the Radnor Bridge forward. There are several reasons for this.
The main one is that we have both been busy in our day-jobs and there simply hasn’t been very much to say lately. Richard and I still have so many ideas for the bridge running around our heads, but with the focus in Twickenham on the station and town centre, it has been harder to drum up the necessary interest to promote the bridge. I guess the chance of seeing it built in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 is rapidly diminishing.
My energy for driving things forward also took a knock when Richmond Council started to give me the run-around. Challenging us to find out actual numbers of people who would want to use the bridge and why – this would obviously require a proper survey to be carried out, which we do not have a budget for. However, if you are reading this and happy to do so, please do start the ball rolling by sharing your comments/support below.
The final reason, which is perhaps not that significant, is a short while ago my wife and I were out walking on the Ham side and sadly disturbed several groups of men, engaged in some rather unsavoury sexual acts in the woods. Naturally this was not a pleasant experience for the two of us and therefore rather took “the wind out of my sails” for a short while. I began to understand why some have expressed very strong feelings against the bridge being built, but I am also reminded how the bridge can play a significant role in improving the social and economic standing of both sides of this particular bend in the river.
Richard and I are therefore still determined to see the bridge is built.  And, so it would seem are many of you. Indeed lots of local people have verbally expressed eagerness to see Radnor Bridge is built. With this in mind we are both still in regular communication with local activation groups on both sides of the river. And I am still speaking regularly with councillors on this subject.

On a separate point
Recently I was walking in Marble Hill Park and saw some lovely examples of the natural fencing we have proposed for the ‘nature-sensitive’ Ham side of the bridge. 
I have included the pictures here to liven up this blog. Once again, do let us know your thoughts.