Simon MacMichael August 23 2017
Bike riders wanting to use a proposed cycling and walking bridge across the River Thames between Battersea and Fulham would have to take their bikes up and down stairs or use a lift to access the deck level because of lack of space at the landing points, it has emerged.
The Diamond Jubilee Bridge, which would run alongside one carrying the railway line between, would span the river from close to Fred Wells Gardens in Battersea to Chelsea Harbour.
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Originally conceived in 2011 as a pedestrian bridge and designed on a pro bono basis by architects One World Design, the growth of cycling in London means the design has now been adapted to provide separate pedestrian and cycle lanes.
However, in a blog post on LinkedIn, Chris Medland, director at One World Design, explained that issues specific to the site meant that it would not be possible to provide ramps for people to cycle up to deck level.
He wrote: “The site of the bridge is selected based on need and as decided by the adopted plans of the local councils and the London Plan.
“The site is constrained by land ownership and the railway line and without partnership with Network Rail the provision of full cycle access ramps is problematic.”
Access to deck level for cyclists would be gained either through using a lift, or going up the stairs, which would be equipped with bike gutters similar to those employed at some railway stations.
To accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians, the deck would be wider than originally envisaged, meaning the cost of the project would rise from £26 million to £30 million, according to a report commissioned last year by Transport for London (TfL) from engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald.
Medland said: “At this cost the bridge still represents high value for money in terms of cost:benefit ratio and is around half the cost of the nearest proposed bridge at Nine Elms.”
He continued: “Assuming the council choose to progress the wider deck version of the bridge, this has raised around 30-40 per cent of the funding required so far. The bridge is public, will be owned by Wandsworth Council and will be open 24/7/365.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has included the project within his 25-year London Transport Plan, though he insists TfL will not be providing funding for it.