Progress for Step-Free Kew Bridge Arch

Lease agreed between TfL and Hounslow Council

Kew Bridge Arches
The Arches under Kew Bridge. Picture: Google Streetview


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Residents of Strand on the Green who have been campaigning for an arch under Kew Bridge to be opened up for step-free access to the Thames Path are pleased that prospects for opening the arch now look very promising.

While Hounslow Council has given the project the go-ahead there are several processes to get underway, and if all goes to plan, the arch should be open in 2020. It had been hoped to be open this year.

An agreement to approve the entering into a lease arrangement with Transport for London (TfL) for the arch was signed off two weeks ago, with funding to be provided for within the council's capital budget for improvements along the alighment of Cycle Superhighway.

The next steps involve a survey of the condition of the arch, a new fit out specification suitable for a public thoroughfare, plus sorting the flood mitigation arrangements and achieving listed building consents.

At present people have to climb up a series of steps if they want to cross from Strand on the Green to the other side of Kew Bridge, or else walk to road level and negotiate a series of intimidating crossings. The Strand on the Green Residents' Association (SOGA) has been campaigning for years on the issue.

There are four arches under Kew Bridge, owned by TfL for letting, two of which are leased to the canoe/paddleboarding clubs, another leased commercially, and the fourth, known as Arch 3 is leased by TfL to the St George's, the developers of the residential complex near the bridge. The lease for this arch expired in March 2018 and local people had insisted that it would be appropriate for TfL to release if for use by the community.

Originally TfL had refused saying their intention was to let it out again and were only prepared to allow it to be used as a walkway if this was done on commercial terms.

February 22, 2019

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