A section of the Thames that is currently blocked for pedestrians by a railway bridge could soon get it’s own dedicated footbridge to avoid a nasty detour.
The Thames Path runs along the banks of the Thames from source to mouth, but at Barnes bridge, the north side of the path takes a substantial detour away from the riverside.
It may seem odd to have built the railway bridge in a way that blocks the Thames Path, but at the time of its construction, the whole area was fields, and the path didn’t exist.
The plan is to build a footbridge out over the Thames, under the railway itself so that the two sides can be linked up at last.
It is technically possible to avoid the bypass, at low tide, by walking along the foreshore, but that’s not entirely advisable, and in any case, impossible at high tide.
The current detour route on the western side of the bridge – Dan Mason Drive is also very narrow without any pedestrian paths, and then there’s a tunnel under the railway to go through. Overall, it’s a route to avoid at nighttime.
The proposed footbridge will rectify this situation by providing a safe route at all hours of the day.
The Dukes Meadow Pedestrian Footbridge will be supported on concrete beams to avoid any works on the railway bridge itself, and will have sloping paths leading back to the embankment. It’ll also offer a much nicer view of the railway bridge itself.
And one aspect that’s going to cause protests from a certain group, as the bridge is not for cyclists. Signage and most likely bollards at both ends will require them to dismount and walk their bicycles.
That’s because a combined bridge would need to be significantly wider with higher parapets, and that pushes the cost into the unaffordable zone.
All images from the planning application, via ChiswickW4