It’s taken a while. In fact it’s taken a bloody long time but on Monday August 20th the new path beside the River Crane will open. You could be forgiven for not having noticed the locked gates that mark either end of the new pedestrian and cycle route which starts (or finishes) to the right of the M Bar & Grill restaurant at the new Brewery Wharf development opposite Twickenham Station and finishes (or starts) near the footbridge over the railway linking Craneford Way playing fields to Marsh Farm Road. It’s about half a mile in length.
Why the delay? No one outside the elevated worlds of the local council and Brewery Wharf developer St James seemed to know but whatever it was it took flippin’ ages to sort out. We like to imagine deals being hammered out through to the early hours of the morning with middle ranking officials from both sides quivering from excess caffeine, eyes flicking manically round dingy offices and with plenty of slamming of fists on tables.
The path formed part of the overall development scheme with the associated marketing guff describing it as providing “public access to new areas of open space by connecting the riverside walk and completing the green corridor along the River Crane”. Nice idea. From what little did emerge onto social media as the reason for the delay, it seemed to relate to the time being taken for the developer to fulfil “outstanding planning conditions” before El Brute would take over the path. Did they relate to the path itself, the land around it needing remedial work, or was it connected to the wider development of the site? Not sure.
Anyway… more than one year on and it is now going to open and provide a route by the Crane. It will be a useful addition and will link up with the existing Crane-side paths. We expect it to be well used by rugby fans and college students. Let’s hope there are plenty of litter bins dotted along the way. It’s unlit so will operate during daylight hours only and we also hear that it may be closed during larger events at the stadium.
But what to call it? The land is officially called Twickenham Junction Rough but since we’re not an especially rough lot here we thought it should have a different name. A better one. In fact, we felt so strongly about the issue that we ran a Twitter poll about it. And the winner? Why Craney McLaney of course!
We also hear that the planned path next to the Crane as part of the new station development which will mean Craney McLaney can run all the way to Moormead will be pedestrian only. Seems a bit odd when the rest of the route is shared use. This should be for bikes and pedestrians so come on El Brute, sort this one out!
We took a little stroll down Craney McLaney and here’s the result. It’s a pleasant path which is a useful addition to the River Crane/Kneller Gardens route… but some sight of the actual river would be nice!
And here are the opening times at the moment. It’s basically 7.30am (later on Sundays and bank holidays) and closing at dusk. The path is unlit so is not open 24/7 and it will be closed during major events at Twickenham Stadium.
You likey McLaney? No doubt you’ll have a better name for it. Do feel free to share it here. You never know, it might catch on.