West London Could Be Getting This Garden Bridge

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 22 months ago

Last Updated 28 July 2022

West London Could Be Getting This Garden Bridge
Artist's impression of the restored bridge. Image: Moxon Architects

You may have been to Barnes Bridge railway station, but you won't have used the original Barnes Bridge.

The Grade II listed cast iron twin bridge carried trains for less than 50 years, before closing in 1895 and being redundant ever since. The old structure's remained in place though — running parallel to a replacement railway bridge — and now it could be transformed into a green pedestrian walkway.

Image: Moxon Architects

'The View at Barnes Bridge' would see the old bridge restored, with a two-metre-wide pedestrian corridor put in place and planted up — creating a linear park (a la NYC's High Line) that links Barnes on the south side of the Thames, and Chiswick on the north.

Plans also propose new lighting and seating, plus the restoration of a Victorian turnstile on the Hounslow side. The Chiswick end of the Bridge would also connect up with the Dukes Meadow Footbridge, and both sides of the bridge would create access for wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

The design, say its visionaries, would "complete a green corridor over the river and provide panoramic views". It'd also provide a pretty awesome outlook for Boat Races day.

Image: Moxon Architects

The View at Barnes Bridge team (who got together in 2015, following the initial idea by local Peter Banks in 2013) has been working on the designs with Moxon Architects (they created the Esperance Bridge in King's Cross) — and are now looking to reach a formal agreement between Network Rail, and Richmond and Hounslow councils, to bring the concept to life.

Elsewhere in London, plans for the Camden Highline — an elevated park along 1.2km of disused railway — were recently submitted.

Image: Moxon Architects

We're all for repurposing old bridges for this kind of thing, rather than building new ones — such was the plan of a certain Boris Johnson, with his ill-fated Garden Bridge. This came to naught in 2017, but not before £42.86m of public money had been spaffed on it.

Talk about troubled water.