How would you like a new bridge across the River Thames between Twickenham and Ham? Obviously we’re not talking about a massive great road bridge here. We’re talking about a pedestrian and cycle bridge to provide better access to Ham or, if you’re already over there, to provide better access back to Twickenham. The idea is not new, in fact the Radnor Bridge brigade led by Mark Wing and Richard Woolf have been promoting the idea for several years, but it has gained more traction recently after being given an airing by Riverside Councillor James Chard at an El Brute council meeting earlier in September. The Radnor Bridge would link Radnor Gardens to Ham Lands and so improve access to Ham and Richmond. As well as simply providing a new route across the river, the bridge would give ‘Hamsters’ better access to Twickenham and Strawberry Hill stations and could form part of a wider plan to improve car-free transport options around the borough. What’s more, if the ‘sometimes-touted’ idea of a pontoon for Thames tour boats to stop at Radnor Gardens is also chucked into the mix then the bridge proposal gets even more interesting.
You’re thinking, does it have to be at Radnor Gardens? No, but it might not be a bad spot for it. And we can expect that some locals and ‘friends’ might be concerned? Possibly. Another suggestion made is that a bridge could run from Ham to Twickenham Riverside next to Eel Pie Island. Or even across it! Imagine! Actually… imagine the protests. As for a detailed design for Radnor Bridge, well, apparently that can come later too. At the moment it’s just about the concept, the idea, the vibe of the thing. You likey?
We ran a poll on Twitter asking what you, the twickerati, thought of the bridge plan. It received a healthy 600 votes with 85% of respondents being positive about the idea. Obviously polls can be unreliable but it did indicate broad support and a lot of local interest.
But what of the cost? And will it actually get used enough to justify that cost? And what will the impact be on the nature of the Ham Lands environment? And what about the effect on Hammerton’s Ferry? Yep, all of that needs to be carefully considered but having more options to cross the Thames, especially as part of a well considered transport infrastructure plan, could bring a wide range of benefits. Here at twickerati HQ we reckon it’s something worth exploring in more detail.
In other words, the fundamental question in all of this is: do Twickenham residents want to give greater access to God’s Own Outer London Suburb to people from the wrong side of the river? Tell us and tell us now. Vive la Twickenham! Vive la rive gauche! And, maybe, vive la rive droite too.
(Note that images supplied by Radnor Bridge do not necessarily represent a specific plan in terms of design)