Posted on Sep 16, 2014
For years there have been discussions about a pedestrian underpass at Putney Bridge to avoid the dreadful traffic, and this year the Putney Society Transport Panel decided to take things further by carrying out their own detailed investigation.
Click here to view: Putney Bridge Underpass Report
Using existing vaults that support the structure, pedestrians could safely pass below the third busiest bridge in London (40,000 vehicles per day) using an underpass similar to the one on the Fulham side. No more waiting at red lights; no risk of accidents. The justification is clear, more so because after the Nine Elms development is completed Putney Bridge will be in the minority of bridges for the entire length of the river’s south bank, from Tower Bridge to Hampton Court, where walkers using the Thames Path have to cross a road.
The vault presently used as a meeting room by St Mary’s Church could be connected to the vault belonging to 4-6 Putney High Street to create a passageway between the Church forecourt and Waterman’s Green. Head height is sufficient and both floors are above the Thames high tide level.
The proposal is feasible providing that the Church, the owner of 4-6 Putney High Street and Wandsworth Council (the owner of the bridge) all agree. To compensate the Church for the loss of its vault it is proposed the store room would be refitted and extended to include a new meeting room. A small portion of the vault belonging to 4-6 Putney High Street would be required. The premises have a valid planning permission for use as a bar/restaurant that includes opening the vault entrance facing the Thames to access a seating area on
Waterman’s Green. It is hoped that the owners will agree to the Putney Society proposal.
Wandsworth Council have yet to respond formally. However, Councillor Michael Ryder (Thamesfield ward) writes, “I’d absolutely love to see anything that enhances Putney’s position as a riverside borough, that encourages people to stroll alongside the Thames, to properly enjoy the Embankment. But, and of course there’s always a but, I honesty cannot see funds being realistically available for quite some while for such a project, desirable as it is”.
If you support the proposal, write to the Council or raise the issue during the forthcoming Putney Society Hustings. See the plan on page 3. Comments can also be made in the Bulletin by emailing a letter to Editor Nick Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.