BRENTFORD GATE FOOTBRIDGE
Recreational and leisure – the bridge will provide a focal point of interest for people to visit in its own right. It will provide better links for the Thames Path – linking both the north and south sides of the path – and using off-road quiet routes encouraging people to undertake more journeys on foot or by bike. It will also afford a much more diverse range of exercise routes e.g. for lunchtime jogging for workers in Brentford / Golden Mile.
Cycle to Richmond Park
Health – the bridge will contribute to – and provide new – opportunities for walking cycling and jogging. So it will contribute to improvement in public health and help meet targets for reducing obesity. By providing a new tranquil open space, with views of the River Thames, it will also provide relief from urban stress and noise and help improve wellness.
Transport: If all proposed developments get built the population of Brentford is set to double, putting immense pressure on existing transport options. The bridge will enhance cycle networks, linking directly with the proposed CS9 route and close to the soon-to-be refurbished Grand Union towpath. This is currently the longest section of the Thames between bridges, so providing a (step free) crossing it will afford alternative quiet ways to Richmond and Twickenham to the South West and to Kew and Barnes to the South East. Currently the nearest bridges are at Kew (with only mixed pedestrian and cyclist pavement provision) and as part of the North/South Circular, is a strong disincentive to cyclists) and Twickenham Bridge nearly three miles away. It will also help link the diverse communities in Brentford and Kew.
Cultural /Tourism: Kew Gardens is world famous World Heritage site. Brentford has a strong marine based industrial heritage. This along with other historic connections gives it a rich cultural heritage. As well as still having working boatyards, it has London Museum of Water and Steam, The Music Museum, the Waterman’s Arts Centre, plus interesting buildings and parks. These include the Butts conservation area where the wealthy merchants lived, as well as houses and grounds at Syon, Boston Manor and Osterley Park. The bridge would provide a focal point to help link to these with the historic Kew Gardens and Richmond. It will help bridge the diverse communities for Brentford, Kew and Richmond.
Commercial: Play a part in the regeneration of commercial activity by encouraging visitors to Brentford with an associated spin off for related commercial activities e.g. hotel accommodation, shops and cafes and other retail opportunities. Indeed by linking with other cultural attractions there could be a multiplier effect for people choosing to visit several attractions. The bridge will also make Brentford a more attractive place to live – with associated impact on land values.
Environment: The bridge will help in reducing pollution and improving the air quality through stimulating cycle usage for commuting and recreational purposes. The bridge will also provide an open space for people to enjoy the views of the River Thames and provide relief from urban stress.
Educational: The Bridge would provide linkages between schools, universities and industry with Kew Gardens. Indeed as part of its long term strategy Kew Gardens is considering setting up a University campus and the bridge would provide a major link to help with this. Brentford also hosts some world leading hi tech companies (e.g. GlaxoSmithKline and Sky broadcasting) offering potential cross-fertilization of ideas and development.