Herne Hill is an engaged and active community, with a strong focus on supporting local, independent trade. Regular community activities and a Sunday market mean that Station Square is widely used as a vibrant community space. However, the Herne Hill Railway Bridge dissects Herne Hill's town centre, and prevents footfall reaching other parts of the area. It is rusty, leaky, dimly lit, poorly signposted, and unsafe at night. We’ll use interactive lighting and integrated signage to change this. We want to turn it into a high quality, legacy icon for Herne Hill, using the bridge to build local identity, improve pedestrian safety, create connectedness at the heart of Herne Hill and drive much needed footfall to our local businesses. We want our high street to be more distinctive, welcoming, and diverse and to attract people to all of Herne Hill’s five radial high streets. The railway bridge is the keystone of this vision.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
We’re pioneers in proactive stewardship – we run our own community with local traders, councillors and residents and we’re driving long-term growth and change across HH. But we need to radically transform the centre of HH from a congested, disconnected streetscape to realise the full potential of our five high streets. Last year’s floods devastated local trade.
Wide consultation tells us that, to bounce back, locals need: better lighting; better signage; better connectivity; and a better sense of public place. The bridge redesign would meet all of these needs, creating a sense of pride and ownership locally, and improving flow to our many struggling businesses.
Network Rail will be reinforcing and repainting the bridge this summer. We’d piggyback on these unavoidable maintenance works to deliver a new icon for HH, which would boost and promote local business whilst creating a legacy place and identity for future HH communities.
Steps to get it done:
We believe this project is both important and achievable based on:
Consultation - strong local demand and support
Timing - alignment with Network Rail’s planned works this summer and much needed boost post floods)
People - project management will be provided by HHF’s dedicated Town Centre Champion, reporting to the Herne Hill Bridge Project Group, Network Rail and both councils
Need - the current bridge is leaky, congested, dimly lit, unsafe – it limits HH’s business potential
Experience - Harry Dobbs has drafted initial costed designs, using extensive experience of other bridge redesigns (e.g. Camden, Acton) and knowledge of Network Rail
Our delivery model has with community engagement and proactive stewardship at its heart. Total project costs are modelled at £175k. We're seeking £75k from the GLA High Street Fund and Space Hive crowd funding to cover the tiling element of the installation. We have a strong case for additional match funding. But we can't do this without YOU!!
About the space
An iron railway bridge straddling HH’s main thoroughfares