Twickenham Action Plan – Phase 2 Announced

With the regeneration of Twickenham continuing, Richmond Council (aka LBRuT) are now looking further ahead to ensure that, in their words, “the town builds on its recent successes and continues to develop in a way that’s fit for the future”. El Brute’s planning gurus have been thinking big thoughts about what the town should look like by the final years of the next decade. A project, called “Twickenham 2026” is being led by external consultants but has the full support of El Brute. The main challenge they’re looking to solve is how to capitalise on current roads and pavements work whilst accommodating the ever-increasing demand for property and the knock-on effect on school places, traffic and local services. It’s basically phase 2 of the Twickenham Action Plan (aka TWAP2).

The boldest proposal put forward so far is also the one that El Brute are most enthusiastic about and, guess what, it’s also likely to be the most controversial. To deal with the expected traffic problems brought about by the removal of bus lanes, wider pavements and more people just getting in their bloody cars all the time, El Brute are touting the idea of a flyover across central Twickenham. This would run from Cross Deep to Richmond Road and carry traffic over rather than through the town centre. Council Leader, Lord True aka The Blue Baron, says in the foreword to the accompanying think piece, “We have looked at options for relieving pressure on central Twickenham’s beleaguered streets and the best option is to remove the congestion by raising it above street level. This will give Twickenham town centre back to its longsuffering residents”. The document goes on to explain that options for an underpass were investigated but the high water table rendered this too expensive to solve within current budgetary constraints.

Because this will be a very major construction project the Council is proposing to take advantage of the disruption by supporting more building work at the same time. To solve the pressure on school places it’s planning to help create a new ‘super academy’ school for the whole Borough. This would be located in Twickenham, most probably on the site of Twickenham library and the temporary ‘pocket park’ in Garfield Road, off York Street. Next to this would be a new council office building to replace the civic centre and York House itself. Both developments would sit on the north side of the new flyover. The route would bring other benefits too. For example, the Twickenham 2026 brochure recommends that the shelter created by the new elevated road would provide cover for the farmers market and give a “semi-indoor” feel to the local shopping experience. A climbing wall is also proposed.

El Brute have published an aerial image of what they expect the scheme, and the town, to look like by 2026. It shows the broad sweep of the river, the new flyover running from Cross Deep to Richmond Road and the new ‘super academy’ and council office just next to it.

Here at twickerati HQ we have to say that the scale of this development feels excessive and we’ll be supporting the campaign which calls for a halt to the plans being taken any further until there’s been a radical rethink.

We don’t like it. But you might. Have your say below.
(Update: The deadline for comments was midday on 1st April 2014)

LINK:
Richmond Council Press Release

Consultants’ composite image of proposed flyover, council buildings & academy

14 Comments

Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

14 responses to “Twickenham Action Plan – Phase 2 Announced

  1. Purple Haze

    It’s not an April Fools joke, that was just a cunning ruse.
    It’s going to be the third runway into Heathrow Airport and the control tower will be in Solum Towers.
    ‘Arrive by train and go straight into the plane’. That’s the current USP…

  2. anonymouse

    I say – Go For It.

    After all the Westway in Notting Hill and the Hammy Flyover are really quite attractive and are host to an amazing carnival and music venue.

    While they’re at it they may as well build a few hundred unaffordable penthouse flats above the flyover.

    Good job his Lordship loves a bit of El Brutalist architecture (with a mock Georgian facade or two).

    • Rufus McDufus

      That might just be the only instance in the history of the world that the words ‘Hammersmith Flyover’ & ‘attractive’ have appeared in the same sentence!

  3. mach268

    And is that the new headquarters for Haymarket Media Group in the right foreground?

  4. Rufus McDufus

    You may jest, but back in the late 90s there were some very serious plans to build a rail flyover over Marsh Farm & Talbot Roads in order to make the Kingston loop connect to the Waterloo section to provide a ‘high speed’ rail link from the Kingston side to Heathrow. I still can’t quite figure how the 90 degree turn would’ve worked while still allowing trains to travel at ‘high speed’. It would’ve had to go through The Stoop ground too at least.
    Those of us under the flyover would’ve been the lucky ones as our houses would’ve been compulsory-purchased, but the poor saps next to it wouldn’t. There was a very active campaign against this which won, thank goodness.

  5. jemdeewoo

    Haha. Great april fools.. Walkinthepark I agree about all the bus stops can you imagine if 3 arrive at the same time. I fear it will block the whole road and traffic lights.. a joke..

  6. Paul

    Make that a tunnel and it might be a sensible idea.

  7. Twickersmatt

    Brilliant, although I fear this might just give El Brute an idea to actually do this……..with the lack of all other sensible decisions by him to date he might just think this is a good idea…

  8. Walkinthepark

    I like the idea though of having a Hammersmith Apollo or Snickers Apollo or whatever it is called at the moment in Twickers to get the bands and comedians the stadium is too big for ;-). Looks like we get an interesting new bridge as well, it would be just like LBRUT to build a bridge that was structurally weak as soon as it was built.

    Speaking of April fools has anyone worked out where the buses are actually going to stop for the M&S bus stop. Are they really going to stop in the one lane road just ahead of the lay by and hold up the traffic or are people going to have to run, or stagger on walking sticks and Zimmer frames, several yards between the shelter and the bus doors. It is a bit of a joke either way……….

  9. Mumto1plus2

    I read with absolute horror until I saw the photo! Best one so far today!

  10. Karen Redfern

    Ok April fools !

  11. Karen Redfern

    What an absolutely horrid idea ! Why would a concrete, unslightly flyover be good, it would overshadow the whole town closing it in, rather than making it feel more spacious……. This one definitely needs rethinking.

  12. Yvonne Hewett

    Good one, guys!

  13. Hester Huttenbach

    Remember what today’s date is!!!