Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Virtual Community Conversation (recorded on 9th July)


This is the Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Virtual Community Conversation recorded on 9th July and publicly available on YouTube - Chaired by Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council.

In the interest of furthering the debate we wanted to share this video, while pointing out a few anomalies. You will need to jump to the relevant part of the meeting on this subject. We would rather this is not a "hot potato", but that's the nature public debating. Note, the #RadnorBridge team was not in attendance...
  • A question was put by Adam Gatehouse (pictured above) regarding the #TwickNHamBridge around 25mins in. 
  • There is also a useful response from Andree Frieze at 27mins regarding the £20m made available by Central Government (consistent with what we have shared previously).
  • And then from Penny Frost at 29mins who is keen to preserve Ham Lands as untouched and also ensure the Council improves usage of existing infrastructure.


Our chief concerns about the Points Of Views shared

The Radnor Bridge team is concerned that the question doesn't seem to understand the importance or need for improved active travel infrastructure for those who live West of Ham. NB: North of Ham is East Twickenham (not Twickenham or Strawberry Hill or Fulwell for that matter).

In essence, we need a #TwickNHamBridge that will serve communities in Twickenham - which is in the west of the borough. And as such does not have an equal distance to the park gates as those living in Petersham - which Adam (the person posing the question) appears to imply.

Also, due to the distances involved, the Radnor Gardens location is NOT an alternative to #TeddingtonLock, which is located in Teddington (obviously). It is in fact the exact mid-way point between Richmond and Kingston bridges and serves a larger community pool than Teddington Lock does at the moment.

Finally, the concerns raised for the Ham Lands were addressed in our response article here.


What we said previously about Ham Lands

We're not sure what is meant by "extraordinary ecological uniqueness of Ham Lands", which in our opinion appear to be in some need of tender loving care and restoration.

The Radnor Bridge proposal will bring much needed investment to help manage and sustain the Lands more effectively. Something the Friends of Ham Lands at HUG (Ham United Group) have also identified; "Left to itself, as a wilderness, it would soon deteriorate as rampant and invasive species crowd out the more sensitive plants, block pathways, and colonise the more open scrub and grassland."

This is a summary edit from our response article;

"...an effective pathway across the Lands, for access to the bridge, should provide us all with an opportunity to seriously think about how the land can be better managed to support the movement of people while effectively sustaining its wonderful bio-diversity.

For change to happen we need the engagement of environmental groups and their considerable knowledge to help research and define the opportunities and threats to this valuable common land. There is always a better way..."

Thursday, 2 July 2020

An invitation to provide feedback to the Chair of The Ham and Petersham Association


An invitation to provide feedback. Please read to the end...
 
The Ham & Petersham Association shared concerns for a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Twickenham and Ham in their newsletter this week. They stated these as;
 
Concern for the level of local consultation.
  • Apparently only 187 people from Ham and Petersham took part in the consultation about this two years ago.
Concern for consequences of a bridge (which include):
  • A slightly shorter walk or cycle ride to Twickenham Station.
    (Not sure WE see this as a 'concern', more a blessing)
    .
  • Harm to the character of Ham and Petersham.
  • Harm to the biodiversity.
    (This is an old one. Please see our blog here)
    .
  • Turning Ham into a commuter parking hotspot.
  • Damage to Hammerton Ferry.
  • Increase in leisure cyclists from the other side of the Thames making their way out of London.
The Association also shared that they would prefer to spend any money raised for this topic on improving Teddington Lock Bridge or access to Hammerton Ferry.
 
None of the above seems a concern to us, just something to manage carefully. 
 
However, the Radnor Bridge team is troubled that the Ham & Petersham Association likes to publicly champion an opposition to the bridge - galvanising disgruntled Ham residents around the Association in the process. Their preference is to preserve Ham Lands as a "private back garden" for a small number of people who live in Ham. 
 
Obviously we actively encourage debate on this subject. It's healthy to explore alternative points of view. But refusing to acknowledge the benefits a bridge can 'gift' to the wider borough community is counter to our vision. And choosing to 'lock down' the Lands for the enjoyment of a few people seems plain wrong. So since they have invited feedback from residents on this matter, we would like to invite you to write to them with a response. 
 
The address is chair@hamandpetersham.com
 
Feel free to copy us in at RadnorBridge@interrelated.co.uk too.

Thank you.