We let the people speak
THE WANDSWORTH VOICE has been campaigning for the last couple of years about the parlous state of Wandsworth Bridge. And the local authority’s total lack of action in terms of repairing and refurbishing it. Both in terms of its basic fabric and its almost total lack of lighting.
Accordingly, we are very happy to bring to our numerous readers’ attention a new petition, started by the residents of Battersea Reach.
TO SIGN THE PETITION GO TO:
And here’s what they write about the bridge:
Wandsworth Bridge was completed in 1940, at the height of the Blitz. It was painted in shades of blue as camouflage against air raids, which it has retained ever since. It carries over 50,000 vehicles a day. It marks the boundary at which the speed limit for river traffic travelling upriver is reduced from 12 knots to 8 knots. It is considered the ugly duckling of the London bridges, with a “severely simple” design that “has a somewhat uitilitarian appearance with no significant architectural merit.”
Local residents disagree. In their eyes, it has history and character and adds to the riverscape, especially in the hours of darkness when it is flood-lit – or, at least it was until about two years ago when it fell into total darkness after barges damaged its electric cabling.
The Wandsworth Council says it might get around to replacing the flood lighting in two years time. Until then, the bridge will have to remain shrouded in ominous darkness and maintain an air of despondency for all.
It is unfortunate that the planning consents (Wandsworth application 2005/3442 and Fulham & Hammersmith appeal APP/H5390/A/07/2033961) lapsed. These were for internally illuminated glass cones rising to 10 metres from the plinths on each end of the bridge which would change colour to correspond with the height of the tide. The consents recognised that the lights would be a feature in the regeneration of the riverside sites.
The Mayor of London is promoting a project (“The Illuminated River”) to make the 17 bridges between Tower Bridge and Albert Bridge the world’s longest “free outdoor river gallery”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36436263 and illuminatedriver.london/
Why is Wandsworth Bridge excluded? What has the Mayor got against Wandsworth Bridge?
Why should it be left in the dark? Why is the Wandsworth Council not a participant in this project?