We have recently learnt that, in time, Twickenham town centre will be transformed for both cyclists and pedestrians, with improvements extending from the A316 to the south, down through London Road, and then across the River Thames into Ham Lands. ...Hooray!
And we are pleased to see that, as part of this transformation, the proposal for a new bridge is "already embedded in the Borough’s Local Development Framework and that four potential locations for this bridge have been identified for a feasibility study".
Radnor Bridge is one of these, which is great news.
In recent weeks we have learnt that there are many different ideas about where the bridge should be. We understand that Twickenham town centre will become a "hub" for cyclists in the borough, with access to a Crane River "quiet" route from the station, which is all fantastic news. However, does this once again mean that Twickenham town centre becomes the obvious crossing point due to the inevitable "desire lines" this will create? We think not... surely it is important to consider where the majority of these desire lines begin or end their journey.
When we originally had the idea for the Radnor Bridge, it was to take some of the attention away from the centre of Twickenham. Lord knows there has been many years of debates about how to change the centre of the town... and for the most part we have seen little accomplished.
Radnor Gardens is poised to provide access to a bigger population than the centre of Twickenham will. Travelling to and from the hub will be easy from Radnor Gardens. But the vast majority of people coming from Fulwell, Teddington, Sunbury, Whitton and even Feltham, would be better served with a river crossing located near Strawberry Hill House.
The bridge will play a key role in facilitating better cycle (commuting) routes into London. If you were travelling by bike from most parts of the borough then a bridge at Radnor Gardens is clearly a much better location to aim for, primarily because of the way the river bends. Radnor Bridge will therefore help to ensure the centre of Twickenham does not become congested because it will provide the quickest, easiest and most direct access across the river for the majority of users.
If you live in Ham Lands then have you considered how Radnor Bridge will provide you with improved public transport too? Strawberry Hill will suddenly become your nearest train station. What a transformation that will bring to the "ham Sandwich". And have you thought about how the bridge will also ensure the Lands are tastefully improved. Not to the detriment of the wildlife, but certainly to help ensure the area becomes safer and more enjoyable for all people in society. What a great legacy for generations to come.
Now that the idea of having a bridge between Twick N' Ham is gaining some traction, we guess it is time to reconfirm why Radnor Gardens is the ideal location to cross the River Thames - as seen from the perspective of the majority of people in the borough.
Would you care to share your thoughts?...