Town Centre Manager - April update
As if the roadworks and traffic congestion haven't been bad enough in Barnes in recent weeks, to top it all, our major artery into London, Hammersmith Bridge, has been closed to traffic indefinitely. But the bridge has been closed before and we will find ways to cope with massive inconvenience to commuter journeys and the nightmare traffic on diversion. There may even be some benefits of the bridge being closed. Some of our local businesses will do better; others will find it hard. Remember; there is no need to battle beyond our borders, you can buy everything you need in Barnes!
On a more positive note, there is lots to look forward to in the coming months - read on for dates of our major events. And keep an eye out for more news about our season of cinema events on the Green......hope to see you there.
Barnes Town Centre Manager
Hammersmith Bridge closes to cars and buses
We are all still reeling from the news about the 'indefinite' closure of Hammersmith Bridge to traffic. Castelnau has been transformed into a congestion-free zone. Residents are enjoying cycling or ambling over the bridge. All our buses are stopping short of the bridge or are on diversion, although bus planning feels chaotic as a result of the suddenness of the closure.
The Council and Zac Goldsmith our MP are doing what they can to influence what happens next for the bridge but, at the end of the day, the major decisions are in the hands of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
There is an opportunity here for creative solutions to get across the bridge and already pedal-powered taxi services are looking at Barnes with interest.
With no plans to re-open the bridge and, in any event, it facing a long-term closure for repair works, Barnes will need to adjust again without this major artery and a creative initiative may just be the solution we need.
Changes to our retail scene
We are soon to welcome the Waterman Arms at the former Hatchett’s site. The new owners run the successful Express Tavern over Chiswick Bridge which has a reputation for fine cask ales and gastro pub food.
No 40, one of the newer independent cafes on White Hart Lane, is now open in the evenings after the owners successfully applied for permission from the Council. Nico and his team are now serving delicious suppers which can be enjoyed over a glass of wine or even a few cocktails! Well worth a visit.
Events in Barnes
We are very fortunate in Barnes to have a packed events calendar. Over the next few months there is so much going on. Make sure you put these dates in your diaries so you don't miss out.
First up is the BCA Duck Race, a fabulous, family event on Barnes Green this Saturday 20 April. Pop along and race your plastic duck on Beverley Brook and support the BCA at the same time.
Next up is the BCA Community Day on Saturday 27 April which will showcase everything on offer in Barnes; the community groups, the clubs, the things to do.
A further must for the diary is the brilliant Barnes Children's Literature Festival on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Over this weekend, an impressive line up of the best children's authors come to Barnes and there is loads to see and do for children of all ages. Tickets are very competitively priced so you can do as many events as you want. Find out more here.
Here are other dates for your diary:
BCA Barnes Fair - Saturday 13 July
BCA Barnes Food Fair - Saturday 14 September
Cinema nights return to Barnes Green
The team that brought you screenings on Barnes Green in 2015 and 2016 is working hard to deliver an exciting season of three cinema events this summer. We can’t share the details with you yet as we are still obtaining our permissions but please keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks.
Hart Bypass on White Hart Lane opens to the public
Like it or not, this is the name suggested, and chosen, by residents as part of a Council-led naming competition for our new footbridge at White Hart Lane. This shiny new bridge has only been open a few weeks but already it has been a blessing for the residents who use the crossing on a regular basis, enabling them to get across without fighting with oncoming pedestrians, providing a safe crossing for children heading to school and reducing the stress of long barrier downtime for commuters.
Whilst perhaps Hart Bypass is not the best name for the bridge, it will certainly reduce stress levels for everyone who uses the crossing.
Barnes Station to have step-free access
Just in case you haven't picked up the news ......at long last, one of our stations is to become step-free. The inaccessibility of our stations has been the subject of many a local discussion as it is entirely unacceptable that people in wheelchairs and with children in buggies can't get access at either Barnes or Barnes Bridge stations.
An upgrade of Barnes Station has been in the offing for a number of years but has been put off until now. Great news indeed. I feel a campaign for step-free access at Barnes Bridge coming next! Read on.....
Update about our plans for Barnes Bridge
In recent months I have been fairly quiet about the project to restore the original Barnes Bridge as a green walkway. The project is still pushing ahead in the background, but these major initiatives take time.
We want to restore the bridge so that everyone can enjoy it, but to do that we need to provide step-free access at Barnes Bridge. So it seems that this needs to come first. You will already have read that it is happening at Barnes Station so why not at Barnes Bridge? With the significant developments at Stag Brewery and Barnes Hospital sites there will be increased pressure on this inaccessible station. We plan to give it a shot so watch this space for more news.