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.


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.