A new footbridge has been opened ensuring residents and visitors again have access to the canal towpath, connecting Marnham Fields and Smiths Farm and providing greater connection between Northolt and Greenford.
It replaces the old wooden footbridge, which was closed to the public in 2020 because of safety concerns.
The replacement bridge improves accessibility and safety for pushchairs, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, pedestrians and cyclists.
It was designed using Fibre Reinforced Polymer deck, which is an innovative, lightweight and durable material.
Unlike boroughs in the rest of the country, Ealing Council and other London authorities don’t receive government funding to maintain or replace bridges, so the council have had to work hard to find the money for this.
Because a lightweight material was used, the installation was carried out using standard road vehicles rather than heavy mobile cranes, and allowed the reuse of existing foundations, which significantly reduced both overall costs and the environmental impact of the project.
The footbridge provides good value for money as its design and make-up reduces the maintenance requirements over its lifetime.
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council and Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action, visited the new bridge recently.
Councillor Mason said: “The replacement of the Marnham Fields footbridge provides residents and visitors with a convenient route to the green spaces in Smiths Fields and Marnham Fields, making easier to walk around the area, and connecting communities in Northolt and Greenford.”
Councillor Costigan said: “We know how important this much-loved bridge is to local people so we prioritised replacing it, despite receiving no funding for this from Government.
“The Marnham Fields Footbridge is an important link for people in Northolt and Greenford, so it’s great to see the new bridge, which will cost less to maintain than more traditional bridges, now open for public use. As more and more residents enjoy walking and cycling in the borough, we will continue to introduce measures to make it easier and safer to get around on foot or on two wheels.”
A Travel in Ealing Charter was published last year, setting out how the council will work with residents to improve local transport projects, and come up with ways to support walking, cycling and scooting.
And the council will continue to lobby government for funding to maintain the bridges we have, and replace those bridges in the borough which are out of action.”