In the face of strong community lobbying, the Transport for London has decided to keep the footbridge over the A316 for at least two more years; however, they will also build the toucan they proposed.
Letter from TFL
Between 9 June and 18 July 2014, we consulted on proposals to remove the footbridge located west of St Margarets roundabout, Twickenham and install a new at-grade toucan crossing. Thank you to all of those who took part and responded.
Following a detailed review of the responses we received, we have modified the scheme as follows:
- Provide an at-grade two stage toucan crossing facility on the western arm of St Margarets roundabout as originally proposed - this will be installed prior to the Rugby World Cup taking place in autumn 2015
- Retain the existing footbridge and undertake further maintenance to extend its service life. The structure of the bridge will be reviewed again in 24 months following the installation of the toucan crossing. The condition of the footbridge will be constantly monitored. If the structure deteriorates significantly it may be necessary to close it without warning.
- TfL commits to carrying out local consultation with the community and stakeholders should any further proposals to remove the footbridge be put forward.
The full report and our response to issues raised can be found at consultations.tfl.gov.uk
Thank you for your patience in waiting for the results of the consultation to be published. We received a large number of responses and we have taken longer than first anticipated in reviewing them.
From St Margarets and North Twickenham Liberal Democrats
St Margarets and North Twickenham residents celebrate bridge reprieve
Following the efforts of local MP, Vince Cable and St Margarets and North Twickenham Councillors, Alexander Ehmann, Ben Khosa and Geoff Acton, local people have heard that Transport for London (TfL) have now reconsidered plans to remove the St Margarets footbridge over the A316.
During the summer of 2014, TfL stunned the local community by announcing it planned to remove the footbridge immediately outside St Stephen’s School and replace it with a road-level Toucan crossing. Supported by parents and local residents, Councillor Ehmann formed a petition against the bridge’s removal, which has over 1,000 supporters and there was extensive campaign activity to dissuade Transport for London from their planned course of action.
Following discussions between Vince Cable MP and Transport for London officials it was agreed that the bridge will remain in place and that it will receive some funding for repair works. Transport for London still propose to install a Toucan crossing alongside the bridge and have indicated that they will review the bridge’s future again after at least a further two years of operation.
Commenting on the news that Transport for London have been persuaded to retain the bridge, Cllr Alexander Ehmann (Liberal Democrat Cllr for St Margarets and North Twickenham) said:
“On behalf of residents, I’m delighted that TfL have seen the error of their ways and have committed to the maintenance of our bridge for at least another two years.”
“Having secured this victory, Vince Cable MP and your local Councillors will do all we can to ensure this TfL U-turn isn’t a temporary stay of execution, but two more years means that countless young people will have access to a safe road crossing on their way to and from school.”
“TfL’s change of heart is a victory for common-sense and testament to the hard work of those in our community that fought alongside us to see our bridge was saved. This is a great day for the people of St Margarets and North Twickenham.”
There is no victory and we are being duped. The pelican crossing is still going ahead and we have been given a leave of execution. TFl is applying salami tactics. I predict that the bridge will be removed within 5 years but hope that I am wrong. There will certainly be a child fatality on a very dangerous road, if the bridge is removedJill Taunton on 2015-01-15 23:06:45 +0000
Jill is absolutely right, I'm afraid I don't even give it 5 years.Harry Jacobs on 2015-01-15 23:27:45 +0000
Jill is right. Not only that but the additional toucan crossing will cause even more of a traffic log jamMary on 2015-01-15 23:58:36 +0000
TFL wanted to instal a toucan crossing and remove the A316 foot bridge. After consultation with interested bodies, 90% of whom opposed the plan, TFL are going to instal a toucan crossing and remove the the foot bridge . Why bother with a consulationAlan on 2015-01-16 07:56:42 +0000
Cllr Alex Ehmann and I talked ( organised by Caroline Pigeon) to TfL at great length and depth yesterday.
The reality is TfL were proposing to install the surface level crossing and remove the Bridge at the same stroke.
Owing to the extraordinary community reaction to the consultation and our representations they have agreed to carry out modest maintenance works and extend it's life by 2 years. Owing to the continued pressure they further informed us yesterday that they will also carry out another study to identify further necessary works to TRY and extend it's life to 5 years. They very much emphasised the fact that this is an aspiration that MAY or May NOT be realised and consequently I must convey this fact to you accordingly. In my view (IF this aspiration is realised) we may have the Bridge in situ till around the summer of 2020.
TfL have conceded the original consultation left much to be desired for and infact have committed to an improved consultation prior to any final decision to remove the Bridge.
Cllr Alex Ehmann and I made it clear to them throughout and yesterday that our "remit" from the community was to seek a permanent and not just a temporary stay of execution.
We are where we are and now need to look to the future and prepare accordingly. We believe we need an organised group to carry on the fight in an effective way and therefor we invite interested people from the community to step forward. Cllr Alex Ehmann, Cllr Geoff Acton and I are as ever here to help and we can enlist Vince Cable MP's help and insight which I am sure will prove highly valuable. Cllr Ben KhosaBen Khosa on 2015-01-16 10:28:41 +0000
What we need to do now is campaign to stop the Toucan crossing. It will create more traffic congestion and reduce footfall over the bridge playing into TfL's hands in 2 years time. This is a cynical tactic to divide and conquer.Bruce McLaren on 2015-01-16 10:31:51 +0000
Mary We took your point of increased traffic jams up with them. They said with careful phasing of all junctions it could result in a more free flow of traffic. Far be it for me to defend TfL but on this point I think they could be right but we wait and see. Alan We have approx 2 to 5 years to plan our response and explore other avenues. Cllr Ben KhosaBen Khosa on 2015-01-16 10:37:10 +0000
I noticed that the St Margarets Community Website was listed as one of the 14 statutory bodies/stakeholders which responded to the consultation and one of the 4 of those supportive of the scheme 'on the basis that the timings of the new signals are coordinated properly'. Given that 90% of the 1022 individual respondents to the scheme opposed it, I wonder who this website was representing when it offered its support? As your article notes, the scheme has been modified in response to community lobbying. Odd that a community website takes the opposite stance.Rowena Fletcher on 2015-01-19 18:38:09 +0000
I haven't seen that; however, I didn't respond to the survey as a 'statutory body' but as an individual. I am very surprised (and a bit upset) that they might have done that. I will look into it.
PeterPeter @ stmgrts.org.uk on 2015-01-19 18:49:50 +0000
Sounds like you've been misrepresented Peter and you're of course entitled to your own view! Interesting to see who else TfL has singled out as a representative stakeholder though.Rowena Fletcher on 2015-01-19 19:48:14 +0000
I am glad the needs of those who have mobility issues have been recognised and a pelican crossing installed. Once done so further pedestrian crossing studies will show that the bridge can be removedDavid on 2015-01-24 00:35:26 +0000
Well done to the ladies who spoke at the Your Vision for St Margaretsat the "Turks Head Pub" last night, and never got a positive answer to their questions, has anyone ever thought of asking the L.B.R.U.T. for a copy of the survey or structural report of the A316 footbridge so an independent person/persons can have it evaluated ?Ken Harper on 2015-02-11 17:36:53 +0000