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

At some point you maybe asked (again) to vote on which of these two bridges (Bridge 13 - Radnor Bridge) (or Bridge 15 - Orleans Gardens Bridge) you would prefer to see built.

Given the debate over the Gloriana a few years back, we are convinced Orleans Gardens Bridge will only really serve the purpose of Ham commuters looking to access Richmond and Twickenham stations on foot. While at the same time putting Hammerton Ferry out of business and changing the nature of the riverside's leisure based experience around Marble Hill and Ham House.

A public debate is ongoing on social media and in other forums, regarding both of these initiatives. It would appear that The Richmond Society shares many of our opinions on this response here.

Once LBRUT has decided how to proceed, funding will need to be found to make their preferred solution happen. This could mean that both bridges get built. But due to their cost and proximity to one another, just one bridge is most likely to be built.

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.

Later addition: The Radnor Bridge team has now also produced a series of videos (which you can find here) to help show how its location serves the wider community; opening up enjoyment of the riverside area for so many more people while also supporting the needs of Active Travel commuting.

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


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.