Friday, March 04, 2011

New K&A Canal Bridge for Hungerford gets the go-ahead

Crossing the Kennet & Avon Canal in Hungerford will be safer for pedestrians now that West Berkshire Council planners have given permission for a new bridge that will be built alongside the existing 1798 listed canal bridge that dates from the time of the building of the canal. 

The design of the bridge approved took account of local concerns and has been described as 'sensitive and elegant'
Local people were concerned about the size of vehicles using 
Hungerford Bridge and the narrow pedestrian footpath
Picture by Bob Naylor©
The decision to go ahead with building a safe crossing for pedestrians comes after a lengthy consultation. Canal users and Hungerford residents considered a number of possible options, which included traffic lights, a pedestrian swing bridge over the canal and a high level footbridge on the west side of the road bridge.

There was very little support from either pedestrians or drivers for traffic lights and the planners did not favour the swing bridge because their research showed that during the boating season it would be open for boaters and closed to pedestrians for most of the day. Local residents were also against it fearing noise from barriers and claxtons and boaters were not in favour of yet another interuption to navigation and the possibility of conflict with pedestrians delayed by bridge operation.

The high level footbridge was supported by most people and after three public meetings and a three-week display in Hungerford Library a final design was produced by Turley Associates, which incorporated many of the ideas of people who took part in the consultation. The designers have been complimented on a "sensitive and elegant structure that the town could be proud of".

The canal bridge in Hungerford High Street — there were some concerns about the visual impact of a footbridge on this, the western side of the bridge.

1 comment:

  1. Instead of painting it black, why not paint it grey or silver to blend in even more?