Friday, August 31, 2007

Update on the North Sheen station footbridge

Last year, following my posts on the footbridge at North Sheen station, the office of Susan Kramer emailed me back the options considered by Network Rail.

As a reminder, the issue is that North Sheen has just a single footbridge and that pedestrians (and car) have to wait at the level crossing if they come from the Southern side of Manor road. Now, in any civilised country I've ever been to, a tunnel or a bridge would have been built to remove a level crossing in a dense urban fabric. Given the fact it is taking over 20 years to build a vital link such as Crossrail, I doubt this will happen in North Sheen so I've moved onto suggesting more pragmatic actions to remove the need for pedestrians to wait at the crossing. There is a serious safety implication, as there are no less than 5 schools within half a mile and kids just jump the barriers to cross.

You will find below those options, verbatim. My views are that the third option is interesting however it would make the access to the station even more concealed and difficult to find, however it would be easier to drop off passengers. We could even dream of a bike parking there to encourage carbon friendly commuting (would require CCTV surveillance to deter thieves).

Additionally and a more radical option would be a double bridge at the Eastern end of the platform. On the South side, this could link Sheen Court and/or Upper Richmond road respectively via the allotments and via Holy Trinity school (this would require to extend the pathway through the side of the school and along Sheen Court. Is is relevant here to note that Sheen court has 200 flats and Courtlands opposite is a similarly dense development, both currently have to walk a detour to go to the station -and be stuck at the crossing for up to 15 mn.

On the North side, this could link Manor grove, providing access to the neighbourhood around Bicester road, Somerton avenue and Lambert avenue -again a denser development.

This would give North Sheen three accesses and make quite a difference for local residents and encourage commuting by train. Then more than four trains per hour would be nice, but that's another story.


North Sheen Station – Summary of Draft Options

Network Rail, following appeals by local residents and elected figures, is exploring possible options to address the widespread misuse of the level crossing at North Sheen Station.

The options are in discussion stage and Network Rail would like the views of local residents and elected figures before developing any option beyond this initial point. (NB: No specific costs/ funding sources have been identified.)

Option 1 – Extension of footbridge to connect with the old pathway and relocation of the signalling box blocking access to this pathway.


  • Add an extending arm to the footbridge relatively in-expensive

  • Open up the old pathway to access the south of the level crossing


  • Relocation of the signalling equipment and reintegration with local signalling systems.

  • Closure of the railway line

  • Timescale of the work likely to be lengthy

  • All enhancements (i.e. new infrastructure on the railway) need to be DDA compliant.

Note: So, why did they remove the bridge in the first place then?

Option 2 - Install a completely new footbridge on the west side of the level crossing


  • Provision of crossing point for those south of the level crossing.

  • Could be used by all pedestrians on Manor Road.


  • Possible interference with the sight-lines of train drivers approaching the crossing

  • All enhancements (i.e. new infrastructure on the railway) need to be DDA compliant.

  • The western side of the crossing has residential buildings.

Option 3 – Extension of the footbridge to the old path, connection of the old path with a new route through the allotments.


  • Extension of the footbridge and reinstating the old path relatively in-expensive

  • No need to move critical signalling equipment


  • Purchase of land from the allotments

  • New path next to residential properties (lights etc)

  • All enhancements (i.e. new infrastructure on the railway) need to be DDA compliant.

Tags: , , ,

No comments: