Application Made to Build Barnes Bridge Promenade

Walkway would allow the Thames Path to remain by river by Dukes Meadows

Barnes Garden Link
The planned walkway looking towards Chiswick


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Thames Promenade Project Makes Further Progress

Plans Revived for Walkway Under Barnes Bridge

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A planning application has been submitted to Hounslow Council to build a promenade walkway under Barnes Bridge.

The walkway would mean that pedestrians would no longer have to divert up Dan Mason Drive and The Promenade and away from the river while walking on the Thames Path. It is currently only possible to stay by this stretch of the river by walking under the bridge at low tide.

Barnes Bridge at present

Walkers currently need to leave the riverside path and proceed along a poorly lit section of the road with no pavement. They then have to walk under the bridge on a narrow roadway which oncoming traffic enters in a blind turning. The idea of the walkway would be to create a safe, direct pedestrian connection between the northern and southern sides of Barnes Bridge.

A report by consultants Atkins was commissioned several years ago which looked at several ways of improving the Thames Path as it runs parallel to Dan Mason Drive. One option considered was a tunnel under Barnes Bridge with an estimated cost at the time of £2,303,000. The alternative proposal was a cantilevered walkway under Barnes Bridge which had an estimated cost of just over a quarter of a million pounds. These were only for outline designs and it is likely that the cost today would be higher.

The possibility of the project to build the walkway was mentioned in the Dukes Meadows masterplan for which the consultation was just completed.

Kathleen Healy of the Dukes Meadows Trust said, "We are happy to fully support the proposals. It would be fantastic project that would join the Thames Path at that point making the route on the north side of the river much more accessible and appealing. The bridge will also link the sports clubs on the upstream side of the bridge and all the new facilities, with the transport hub at Barnes Bridge Station, making them much more accessible, particularly to children and young people. The Hounslow line runs through all the towns in the Borough, close by most schools, putting them in easy reach of the new facilities. It would also reduce traffic on the meadows, that the new facilities will otherwise generate.

"We congratulate the council in bringing together a number of stakeholders to build support for the bridge and hope funds can be raised to build it."

Cantilever walkway under Barnes Bridge
Cantilever walkway under Barnes Bridge from the original Atkins report

The walkway application is being made by Moxon an international firm of architects with previous experience in building bridges. They were also involved in the design of the Taipei Museum of Art.

There is also a proposal to create a 'green link' between Chiswick and Barnes. A team of residents is hoping to restore the unused Victorian rail bridge spanning the Thames between Barnes and Chiswick and transform it into a garden walkway linking the two neighbourhoods. The trains currently travel on a part of the bridge that was a later addition.

Expertise in developing the green corridor is being provided by charitable organisations, small businesses and volunteers drawn from the local community. They would be responsible for the planting and maintenance of the site under a Friends of Thames Promenade group, under the aegis of Barnes Common Association (BCA).

The scheme has received ‘in principle’ agreement from Network Rail. The next step is a feasibility study and a full costing of the project which would be used to make applications for funding to the Mayor of London and the National Lottery.

December 2, 2017

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