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£166k sought to pay for designs, surveys and pre-application planning application, among other things

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched today for a cycling and walking bridge linking Brentford and Kew in west London.

Supporters of the Brentford Gate Footbridge are seeking £166,288 in funding through the Spacehive.com fundraising platform, with their campaign open for another three months.

That money will be used to set up a charitable incorporated organisation (or similar body) to take the project forward, as well as securing architectural and engineering designs and topographical, utilities and environmental surveys.

It will also finance a pre-application planning application, due to be completed by June 2018.

The scheme’s founders point out that the stretch of the Thames between Kew Bridge and Richmond Lock Bridge is one of the longest stretches without a bridge and would provide much needed access between Brentford on the north bank and Kew Gardens, Richmond and Barnes to the south. Among other places.

Brentford Gate Footbridge 03.jpg

Brentford Gate Footbridge 03.jpg

“Our beautiful piece of architecture will be a beacon of local pride and will link these two historic areas,” they say.

“Brentford is due to double in size it will provide a much-needed new open space with dramatic vistas.

“Joining the Thames path on both sides, it will open up open up new walking/cycle networks – avoiding the heavy traffic on Kew Bridge.

“Linking other green spaces and parks – Syon Park, Boston Manor, Osterley House, Waterman's Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park – it will improve access and use, encouraging fitness and wellbeing.

“It will provide a much-needed boost for the local economy by connecting commerce and culture – Kew Gardens and Richmond town centre with Waterman's Art Centre, London Museum of Water and Steam, local businesses and Brentford FC.”

Brentford Gate Footbridge 03.jpg

Brentford Gate Footbridge 03.jpg

With Richmond having some of the highest levels of cycle commuting in London and Brentford home to major cycle-friendly employers such as GlaxoSmithKline and Sky, the bridge would also provide an important commuting link across the Thames.

The proposed steel and wooden structure would span the Thames in a single arc from just to the east of where the River Brent joins it on the north side, to the Brentford Gate of Kew Gardens on the opposite bank.

Brentford Gate Footbridge map.jpeg

Brentford Gate Footbridge map.jpeg

It also has the support of Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury – who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

18 comments

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the little onion [172 posts] 5 months ago
7 likes

I sympathise, but no, no NO NO NO!! We cannot allow local or national government to opt out of providing infrastructure by expecting other bodies to part-fund it, even if it just providing the architects' plans.

 

Surely the correct role of the campaign here is to pressure local government into acting, not by doing their job for them.

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Morat [280 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Definitely one for local government, not national.

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dottigirl [808 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

This is fucked up. That's not in the right place at all. Is Kew Gardens funding this? Because that's all there is on the south side. No proper road access, and the Thames Path at that point is a gravel/mud track.

Sorting out cycle provision on and around Kew Bridge would be a much better idea.

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:

This is fucked up. That's not in the right place at all. Is Kew Gardens funding this? Because that's all there is on the south side. No proper road access, and the Thames Path at that point is a gravel/mud track.

Sorting out cycle provision on and around Kew Bridge would be a much better idea.

I have to agree.in between the existi g bridges there is just Kew gardens this is not a public open space and no reason at all to cross at this point. Better and probably cheaper to provide tarmac path along the north bank instead.

Although just because the path there is gravel track doesn't mean not for cycling, Just means use CX or hybrid.

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dottigirl [808 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

This is fucked up. That's not in the right place at all. Is Kew Gardens funding this? Because that's all there is on the south side. No proper road access, and the Thames Path at that point is a gravel/mud track.

Sorting out cycle provision on and around Kew Bridge would be a much better idea.

I have to agree.in between the existing bridges there is just Kew gardens this is not a public open space and no reason at all to cross at this point. Better and probably cheaper to provide tarmac path along the north bank instead. Although just because the path there is gravel track doesn't mean not for cycling, Just means use CX or hybrid.

I've ridden it on a hybrid from Kew - albeit a few years ago - and my hands and arse were wrecked by Richmond. It wasn't suitable for inexperienced cyclists. I don't know if they've done anything to improve the surface since. And part of why its charm was the path narrowed by out of control greenery and the iffy surface - it felt like we were in the countryside!

I ride a couple of miles of the Thames Path from Barnes to Putney quite regularly on a road bike with 25s on - that's doable unless there's been a lot of rain. 

I'd prefer to see something done to Barnes Bridge so it was properly accessible to all, not just those able to carry a bike up three flights of stairs and back down again. Or a cycling lane added to Hammersmith Bridge. Or a proper cycle lane on Putney Bridge. 

Or even improvements made to the Richmond Lock bridge, barely much further upstream, so that I could get up and down without having someone else carrying my bike and waiting for me.

Something, y'know, which would be practical. This strikes me as a vanity project rather than a practical solution to encourage the bicycle as a mode of transport.

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pd500 [13 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

LB Richmond had some draft plans to install a cycle bridge between Marble Hill (Twickenham) and Ham. This would seem a much more suiyable option as there are no alternative crossings of the Thames bwteeen Teddington Lock and Richmond Bridge. The towpath, particularly on the Twickenham side is in much better condition that the section by Kew Gardens.

Stepped tracks on Kew Bridge and better connected infrastructure either end would be a better option for te Kew option.

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MarkiMark [56 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Agree that this is entirely the wrong place to invest in such a crossing. The article mentions the heavy traffic on Kew Bridge, but a bit of thought could easily provide cycle path provision on the wide pavements across that bridge. 

This appears to only serve the interests of Kew Gardens.

I cycle the river paths a lot. If one of the reasons here is to facilitate a route across the river and down towards Ricmond then, as per another comment, the state of the path from Kew to Richmond only suits mountain bikes, which I ride, but I wouldn't ride this setion on my road bike.

I honestly can't think of a single point along the length of the Thames as far up as Windsor where a new foot and cycle bridge is worth the investment.

I speak as a cyclist keen on improving facilities, and would would rather see investment in quality cycling lanes to encourage newbies (like my wife, who won't go near a road) and begin to redistribute space from motorised vehicles to foot and cycle use.

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ibike [166 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

It’s potentially a lovely idea, and could be a useful addition to the London cycle network (if build to a high standard). The river path from Richmond to Kew is a fabulous if little-known route. Far better to concentrate on improving the surfacing and width of the river path here rather than pursue what is essentially a headline-grabbing vanity project. Interesting that the London Cycling Campaign hasn’t commented on this AFAIA.

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puppet-head [13 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

This is a really dumb idea, its within spitting distance of kew bridge, I cannot think of a single reason to build this.

 

A much better place would be at sunbury, halfway between hampton and walton bridges.

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MarkiMark [56 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I nearly stated the same thing between Hampton and Walton bridges, possibly to align with the bottom of Green Lane to allow easy run from Staines/Sunbury Cross down to river and across to Hersham, but it would be a luxury. Original comment remains.

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JoeyL [54 posts] 5 months ago
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Seems like most the comments above are from people who live north of the River who's concerns are solely cycling amenity related.  The reality is this bridge will also be used in BOTH directions by people on foot who would not otherwise travel all the way up to busy Kew Bridge.   

I live in Brentford and think this would be a great addition to the area and help fuel the regeneration that has long been required.  

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jollygoodvelo [1680 posts] 5 months ago
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Crowdfunding a goddamn bridge?  It's transport!  Why aren't TFL building it if it's so badly needed?

And that goes for the Rotherhithe bridge, and others east of Tower Bridge too for that matter... you'd think that they'd like building things, they last a long time and make the builders famous.

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MarkiMark [56 posts] 5 months ago
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Not sure I'd agree with you JoeyL, but accept that we should consider pedestrian as well as cycling use. The point at which this propose bridge meets the south bank (actually the east bank at this point) is so close to Kew Bridge I can't believe walkers would be put off by a short additional distance.

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Al__S [1275 posts] 5 months ago
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MarkiMark wrote:

The point at which this propose bridge meets the south bank (actually the east bank at this point)

 

It's conventional with meandering rivers not to confuse tings too much by stick to one name for each bank- after all, round the next meander the east bank is on the other side of the river!

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puppet-head [13 posts] 5 months ago
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>who would not otherwise travel all the way up to busy Kew Bridge.   

 

having lived in Brentford I have to disagree, its takes no time at all to get across the bridge.

 

>help fuel the regeneration that has long been required.  

 

I think the high street south side regeneration would be 10000% more important than an unnecessary bridge, they have been taking about regenerating Brentford for 30 years!

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burtthebike [1219 posts] 5 months ago
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It would be really interesting, if only to see whether a privately funded cyclist/pedestrian bridge was significantly better than most of the similar bridges built by local authorities.

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thereverent [450 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I live locally and I'm not sure a new bridge is needed here. It would be better to improve Kew bridge by putting segregated cycle lanes on it and sorting out the cyclist and pedestrian unfriendly junction at the north end.

 

<blockquote>The scheme’s founders point out that the stretch of the Thames between Kew Bridge and Richmond Lock Bridge is one of the longest stretches without a bridge</blockquote>

That's mostly because on the south side there is Kew Gardens, a golf course and the Old deer park. Even from Brentford Gate you have to go through the Kew Gardens car park to get to Kew green and onwards. The Thames path west is ok for a while then drops down and becomes super rough (and floods at very high tides).

 

As others have said improvements to put segregated paths on Kew, Twickenham, and Chiswick bridges as well as better ramps on Richmond lock bridge and Barnes railway bridges. would be a bigger benifit for cyclists. But that doens;t look so cool on a website.

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matthewn5 [1081 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
pd500 wrote:

LB Richmond had some draft plans to install a cycle bridge between Marble Hill (Twickenham) and Ham. This would seem a much more suiyable option

It's in the London Plan isn't it, so already on the radar? Links Twickenham with run-down Ham Close, which suffers from various indices of deprivation, probably because of being fairly inaccessible if you don't have a car.