Weathered steel bridges connecting St Alphage to the Barbican Estate are now open to the public, the first new pedways London has seen in decades.
For the uninitiated: pedways were bridges at first floor level, built to separate pedestrians from traffic. The plan came about after the second world war, as the city had been so heavily bombed it needed to be rebuilt practically from scratch. Urban planners saw this as their chance to leave a lasting imprint on the city.
The old pedways failed miserably; some were knocked down while others lie unused. The only place they've been a success is the Barbican, so it's no surprise that's where these new ones are. These new bridges give a great view over the remnants of London Wall, and are a lovely place to people watch — though a sunnier day than when we went is preferable.
We spotted a few befuddled pedestrians staring at these finally opened bridges, before deciding to give them a try to see where they lead. Yes, the downfall of the old pedways is back too. It's never 100% clear where they take you.
The redevelopment isn't complete just yet; the lift for disabled access is still being installed, and there are still workmen polishing off other small details. Still, it's exciting to walk the City's first new pedways since the 1980s.