River Crane Consultation

Outside of the borough (it’s a Hounslow consultation) but one which affects a route used by many local people to walk and cycle along.

River Crane Railway Underpass Closure Consultation – Deadline Sunday 9 June

Consultation proposals - click for full document

The river crane is hidden gem in our borough and beyond (and this article about its history is fascinating) and has the potential to provide a quiet off road route all the way from Twickenham to Hanworth Park, Bedfont Lakes and even to Heathrow Airport as part of Hounslow Council’s exciting Greenway proposals. Friends of the River Crane (FORCE) have been really effective in recognising the potential of this area and really opening it up for everyone to enjoy. The London Green Grid 2012 also identified the creation of Crane Riverside Park as “a continuous, accessible link between Hounslow Heath & Twickenham Station”.

There are known issues with illegal motorbike use on the site of the former Feltham Marshalling Yards and surrounding open land and Hounslow Council is proposing to tackle the problem by closing off access along the Crane valley path.

Access under the railway proposed for closure blocking a vital link

Along with FORCE we have several concerns about these proposals:

  • This is an important link for pedestrians and cyclists to get past the railway line
  • New cycle paths are proposed for the adjacent open spaces linking de Brome Fields and Pevensey Nature reserve with Hanworth Park and Crane Park and this will be an important link to them
  • It conflicts with the current application to register a footpath through the site
  • It will not be effective in keeping out motorbikes (6 were observed coming through the gate at Pevensey Road in a 4 hour period in January)
  • Once it is closed it will be difficult to open it up again

We support FORCE’s approach of working to engage with local people who live in the area around Pevensey Road. A more effective method of dealing with the problem of motorcycles is to make the open space more attractive to local people so that they use it. So rather than close this route, developing a cycle path through to Feltham Marshalling Yards to join up with sites upstream would also help with this.

In addition, the council have already agreed to improvements to fencing and providing quad bikes to police officers to patrol the area (meeting minutes) so closure of this key path seems over the top.

A diagram is available showing the proposals – River Crane Consultation Document

We would ask you to take 2 minutes to contact the council to object to the closure of this vital link and highlight the additional considerations we’ve listed above along with any concerns of your own. Responses to the consultation are to be sent by email to leisure@hounslow.gov.uk. Do copy us on info@richmondlcc.co.uk so we can have an idea of how many people have contacted the council. We will also be sending a submission from RCC. Deadline is Sunday 9 June.