Pictures: Andrew Wilson.


Plans for a second Garden Bridge over the Thames have been put forward.

But in this case the bridge already exists.

The scheme is for a disused railway bridge at Barnes to be transformed into a green walkway over the river to Chiswick. Talks are already under way with Network Rail,

Barnes town centre manager Emma Robinson said: “The vision is for a ‘linear park’ over the river with plants and benches and great views over the Thames. It will be a fantastic project in ecological, historical and amenity terms.

“And unlike the other Garden Bridge project the structure is already in place.”

Barnes Bridge was built in 1846 as a single-track railway but proved inadequate so a second bridge was built alongside 50 years later. The original has lain unused ever since.

Emma Robinson said: “We recently asked residents for ideas for the future of the area and someone came forward with this concept. Because it is attached to the newer bridge I – and many residents -  did not realise the old one had been  lying unused”

“The aim is for the Barnes Community Association to adopt the disused bridge. Once we have reached agreement with Network Rail we will carry out more detailed feasibility and structural studies before more detailed plans are produced.”

Leaders of councils both sides of the river – Richmond and Hounslow – and Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith have expressed support for the project.

A five-strong team of residents driving the project forward say they have gained inspiration from the High Line in New York -  on an elevated section of disused New York Central Railroad -  and  the Promenade Plantee, a similar idea in Paris.

Story dated July 12th 2016