As part of a number of ambitious development plans by Reading Borough Council, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge designed by Design Engine in collaboration with engineers Peter Brett Associates, has been awarded planning by Reading Borough Council.
In order to keep the bridge simple but graceful the design incorporates a single-masted cabled stayed structure. The deck is supported by paired cables which reach up to the top of the mast in a vertical fan formation, creating an elegant and balanced solution. This formation has enabled the mast as it reaches upwards to remain as thin as possible by each cable zig-zagging between each other.
At the base of the mast where it penetrates the deck there is the introduction of two seats that run parallel with the direction of travel. These not only ensure that people cannot unexpectedly 'appear' from behind the mast causing concern for cyclists but most importantly offer a perfect place to sit and relax and enjoy the views along the river. It is also a useful place for the ambulant disabled or elderly to take breath before they move further along the bridge.
At closer range it is important that pedestrians and cyclists both enjoy the experience of passing over the river whilst critically feeling safe at day and night. To help with this the balustrades have been designed to provide a good level of safety for cyclists by setting a top rail at 1400mm whilst also offering a lower handrail for pedestrians. LEDS illuminate the deck at night, with further aesthetic lighting introduced to the seating area.
Located to the east of Fry’s Island, between the existing Caversham and Reading Bridges, this bridge will provide an important new link for pedestrians and cyclists across the Thames. The route then connects through to the impressive new Railway Station redevelopment and onwards providing a through route for journeys into the Town Centre.
The bridge will be funded through Reading Borough Council’s successful bid from the £20.7m Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) which aims to create an additional 7,200 daily bus trips, 12,050 daily walking trips and 2,300 daily cycle trips across the town, whilst cutting congestion by up to 10%.
Richard Jobson, co-founder Design Engine Architects commented: “We have taken great care to create a simple but elegant design providing both a focal point along this part of the river as well as creating a joyful route across the Thames and beyond.”