Since New York’s High Line opened to widespread delight and media attention, numerous locations have been mooted as potential sites for the ‘next High Line’. In 2012 we suggested a couple of locations of our own, and the Landscape Institute, the Mayor of London and the Garden Museum even ran a competition titled A High Line for London.
Now Peckham resident and architecture student, Nick Woodford, has created a plan to turn a disused section of raised railway connecting Peckham’s two railway stations into a linear park, reminiscent of the Big Apple's elevated park.
The scheme (jpg) would see the abandoned Rickett coal sidings, that run alongside the existing Queens Road Peckham to Peckham Rye railway, converted into a 1km long park.
Accessed by stairs and a lift on Rye Lane, the park would first run the length of the decommissioned sidings, before continuing along a 70m high-level walkway crossing Consort Road, then returning to street level and connecting with the Kirkwood Road Nature Garden, eventually reaching Queens Road Station.
Woodford describes the principle aim of the project as “creating a link that would connect the two main communities of Peckham to create a whole Peckham again”.
On the comparisons with New York he says: “Of course everyone looks up to the High Line, but it's not unique, it was influenced by other parks before it. Unlike the High Line, which is a tourist destination, the Coal Line would be a useful park.”
Although currently only at the drawing stage, the project is gaining local support. Woodford says he is in contact with Network Rail that owns most of the land the park would occupy and he has the support of the Friends Kirkwood Road Nature Garden.
By Tom Ravenscroft
You can watch a fly-through the proposal below: