The bridge will provide walkers with convenient and safer access to the scenic Thames Path, removing the previous obstacle of a long detour to rejoin the path after Barnes Bridge.
The new walkway also rejuvenates a previously disconnected stretch of the Thames Path. The enhanced route improves accessibility and safety for pushchairs, mobility scooters and wheelchairs, and pedestrian flow for residents and visitors.
A ceremony took place on Friday morning to mark the opening of the footbridge, which included pupils from Chiswick School performing in a steel pan band and a flash mob dance. The Mayor of Hounslow and Councillor Raghwinder Siddhu formally opened the bridge with the Leader of Hounslow Council, Shantanu Rajawat.
Associates from the Council’s construction partner, Knights Brown, were also present to celebrate the completion of the innovative two-year engineering feat.
Dukes Meadows Footbridge will provide numerous benefits for the local community, including enhanced access to leisure facilities and new views of the Dukes Hollow Nature Reserve.
The leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, said:
“Pedestrians using the Thames Path in Dukes Meadows usually find themselves facing a long detour that takes them away from the Thames to pass through a narrow tunnel under the railway.
“This bridge will now offer a fantastic uninterrupted route along the jewel in London’s crown: the River Thames.
“This major construction milestone and engineering triumph is testament to years of close partnerships between Hounslow Council, our construction partner Knights Brown, and the local community – under the leadership of my predecessor Steve Curran. We also received tremendous cross-party support for this project from local ward member Councillor John Todd.
“We’re proud to offer residents a more inclusive and accessible route to the Thames Path and look forward to welcoming even more visitors to Dukes Meadows.”
Sean Hebden, divisional director at Knights Brown, said:
“The innovation deployed to overcome the complexities of the build and installation process are an example to us all of what can be achieved when everybody works together. The quality of the end result is something we should all be proud of.
We’re grateful for the fantastic support received from our extended supply chain and for the stunning design, which has been recreated to maximum effect in delivery.
We hope it brings much pleasure to the Council and community of Hounslow.”
The successful project was made possible by local community support, the collaboration between the Council and its partners, and the dedication shown by former Hounslow Leader Steve Curran and current local ward member Councillor John Todd.
The project is part of the Mayor of London’s £53 million Liveable Neighbourhoods initiative and is a prominent example of Hounslow Council’s commitment to invest £5 million to ensure its parks and open spaces remain one of the best in London.
In 2020, the Council pledged to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 as part of its Climate Emergency Action Plan. Chiswick’s newest pedestrian bridge will offer walkers uninterrupted access to the Thames Path and, in the process, encourage residents to use more sustainable modes of travel.
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