Thames Promenade Project Makes Further Progress

See what the 'green link' between Chiswick and Barnes could look like

Barnes Garden Link
The planned walkway looking towards Chiswick. Picture: one world design

A project to create a 'green link' between Chiswick and Barnes has made further progress with visualisations of what the Thames Promenade would look like now published by an architect involved in the scheme.

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).

This initiative is the brainchild of a long-time resident of Barnes, Peter Banks who has a background in property development and has been responsible for a number of developments across London and Surrey. His passion for restoring the historic Barnes Bridge has resulted in this project which he is now driving forward with a local team and the BCA.

one world design architects are assisting at the early stages of the design process. They envisage planters placed along the promenade and a screen (possibly living) wall between live railway line and new promenade to prevent trespassers etc. The existing metal clad upstand to the riverside could be removed and replaced with a glass balustrade to allow greater views for all and from further back along the bridge – this will also make the bridge appear lighter from the riverbank.

There would be LED’s in the floor surface, balustrade or lighting bollards that can react to movement and change colour as desired. The lighting can be set up so that as someone moves across the bridge the way ahead is lit at the same speed they are travelling and the trail behind fades to a different colour – this helps those about to cross the bridge at night understand if someone is there and which direction they are travelling in.

The walkway would be created on the original but now disused part of the bridge that was built in 1849 to a design by Joseph Locke. In 1895 this part of the bridge was decommissioned after the three span wrought iron bridge carrying two railway tracks was completed. The bridge also has a pedestrian walkway alongside the tracks.

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.

Picture: one world design

There is a separate plan to build a cantilevered walkway under Barnes Bridge which would end the need to divert off the Thames Path in Chiswick on this section. Although the scheme was devised some time ago there has recently been some discussion about relooking at the feasibility of the designs.

October 26, 2016