Work is about to begin to build a ‘beautiful’ new footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists travelling along the Thames Pathway into Dukes Meadows in Chiswick.
Published: Friday, 27th August 2021
Dukes Meadows is one of the largest open spaces in London, offering open access to the Thames via the Thames Path, but the Path is severed by the railways when it reaches the Grade-II listed Barnes Bridge.
Pedestrians and cyclists using the Thames Path in Dukes Meadows usually find themselves facing a long detour that takes them away from the Thames to pass through a narrow tunnel under the railway.
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, said: “We’re going to build a stunning new bridge which will reconnect the Thames Path with Dukes Meadow, creating a beautiful new walkway that will take users over the water and under the railway bridge until it re-joins the pathway. This project has cross-party support, and I am most grateful for the help given by Cllr John Todd.”
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:
“The bridge has been designed to maximise views across the river and provide easy access for wheelchair, mobility scooter and pushchair users.
“By improving access, we believe it will make a big difference to the many people who visit this beautiful area.
“It’s a dazzling design and will allow people to experience this part of the Thames in a completely new way.”
The bridge promises views of the river and the Dukes Hollow nature reserve, a natural tidal foreshore that contains diverse waterside flora and is home to two nationally rare snails.
The natural foreshore is one of only two remaining in London and the pedestrian bridge will improve access to a peaceful part of the Thames Path.
The bridge will encourage users from all walks of life by creating a more coherent route, as well as providing a unique place to stop and rest. It will also contribute towards making the River Thames easier to cross and create better access to Barnes Bridge station from both sides of Dukes Meadows.
The bridge has been designed with durability, maintainability and aesthetic appeal in mind, and will be made with high-quality materials and finishes, fitting to its prominent position along the Thames.
The bridge uses architecture and engineering to highlight and contribute to the importance of Dukes Meadows as one of the borough’s greatest assets.
Due for completion in 2022, the bridge will be constructed using off-site prefabrication methods and will be transported down the river, rather than by road, to reduce carbon consumption and to minimise disruption to the surrounding area.
The bridge is part of the Dukes Meadows Masterplan, a series of proposals to improve the park’s facilities for sport, transport and access.
Artist’s impression of the Barnes Bridge Walkway Photo: Hounslow Council
Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, with Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council (centre), and Cllr John Todd (second from left) joined by Council officers and contractors as construction work begins. Photo: Hounslow Council