Children from two local schools joined representatives from Network Rail and Richmond Council to open the borough’s newest footbridge over White Hart Lane level crossing.
Thomson House School and Barnes Primary are located near the level crossing with their students providing much of the foot traffic, particularly during the busy morning period.
Network Rail and Richmond Council co-funded the project to build the new footbridge at the White Hart Lane level crossing. The Council has contributed around £1.2m towards its installation and it is due to be completed by mid-April.
The installation of the footbridge follows campaigning over a number of years by local residents. Over the past three weeks the Council has been running a Twitter poll to name the bridge with residents selecting ‘Hart Bypass’ from a shortlist of eight names.
Sarah Cook, commercial scheme sponsor for Network Rail, said:
“This new footbridge will separate pedestrians and cyclists from the railway therefore reducing the element of risk at the crossing, which is great news for the hundreds of people who cross the railway here each day.
“This project is clearly very important for local residents, so I’m delighted we have been able to deliver it for them in partnership with Richmond Council.”
Cllr Alexander Ehmann, cabinet member for transport, streetscene and air quality said:
“The long wait by residents is now finally over. It is fantastic news that local people can now benefit from a new footbridge over White Hart Lane level crossing.”
“Residents have waited far too long for this much needed improvement. In the end, it’s delivery wasn’t quite as complicated as a “Hart Bypass”, but its construction will certainly will inject new life into the crossing and I feel sure will contribute to a healthier and happier community.
“The bridge is a particular source of pride for this council, as the ‘go-ahead’ was one of our first big decisions. Within weeks of becoming Cabinet Member for Transport, my colleagues and I worked tirelessly to identify the necessary, yet elusive funding to make this project a reality. It is great news we were able to make it happen.”