Simon MacMichael May 28 2017
Plans have been unveiled for a proposed Camden Highline, which would see a disused railway line be turned into an temporary public park and provide a new transport link from Camden Town to King’s Cross.
But unlike the defunct Garden Bridge, or the Highline in New York City from which the project takes its name – and which itself was inspired by the Promenade Plantée in Paris – cycling would be allowed on the linear park, if built.
800 metres in length, 18 metres wide and eight metres above the ground, it would have seven bridges and cross eight roads and would use a former railway line originally built for the North London Line, now part of the London Overground.
The idea was originally conceived by Oliver O’Brien, a research assistant at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London whose work we have featured before on road.cc, with North London-based website Kentishtowner.co.uk picking up on his idea and discovering strong support for the project from its readers.
The website then approached Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited CTU), the business improvement district for Camden Town, which commissioned Studio Weave and Architecture 00 to come up with designs.
CTU is now in negotiations with Network Rail about bringing the concept to life.
Pitkeathley told Kentishtowner.co.uk: “To make this project happen, it’s got to have public support.
“It’s got to benefit the local area too, which is what we’ll be working on demonstrating in the future.
“So if you’re interested in the project, and want to help – please visit camdenhighline.com, join the mailing list, and pledge your support.”
One attraction of the Camden Highline, which would start at Camden Gardens next to the Hawley Wharf redevelopment currently being built and finish just short of the bridge carrying the rail line out of St Pancras International is that it would provide a link between two parts of North London currently undergoing huge regeneration.
A new cycling and footbridge currently being built would then complete the journey into King’s Cross’s Granary Square, home to UAL’s Central Martin’s Campus and where development as a retail, leisure and business destination is continuing apace.
Another selling point of the proposed project is that it would ease pedestrian and cyclist congestion on the Regent’s Canal, the route of which it follows closely and which particularly at rush hour can be the scene of conflict between people on bikes and foot.